|Death Hawks — Sun Future Moon (November 13/27, 2015)|
Death Hawks — Sun Future Moon (November 13/27, 2015)≡˜≡ “It’s often said that some things people are able to do freely ought to require a license of some sort. Like making babies. Making dark psychedelic rock should be added to that list. It seems so easy, but… Tampere–based Death Hawks could waltz into any government office and waltz out with a license just like that. Their annual checkups would be a breeze. Psychedelic bureaucrats would be falling all over themselves to drown the band in psychotropic innovation grants.
≡˜≡ Luckily this is not the case. Death Hawks comes from Finland. The guitar sings the blues, the bass pounds the jazz and keyboards crawl all over it. A voice sings from deep within a worm–nourished Earth.”
≡˜≡ They were nominated for a Nordic Music Prize and a Finnish grammy in 2014 for their eponymous second album (2013) and if fair is still something we of the world concern ourselves with then Death Hawks’ ‘Sun Future Moon’ should meet a similar fate. At least. For as I somehow missed the previous album this blows my socks off with a brilliantly melodious psych–n’ kraut–rocking 10 song trip that can’t but please any fan of rock as it was first done some 40 years ago. Absolutely awesome!Location: Tampere, Finland
Album release: November 13, 2015
Record Label: Svart Records
01 Hey Ya Sun Ra
02 Ripe Fruits
03 Dream Machine
04 Behind Thyme
06 Dream Life, Waking Life
07 Heed The Calling
08 Wing Wah
09 Future moon
10 Friend Of Joy
Death Hawks is
≡˜≡ Teemu Markkula (vocals,guitars)
≡˜≡ Tenho Mattila (keyboards, saxophone)
≡˜≡ Miikka Heikkinen (drums, percussion)
≡˜≡ Riku Pirttiniemi (bass, vocals)
≡˜≡ Ilari Larjosto (sound)
≡˜≡ Jonne Pitkänen (visuals)Pressing info:
≡˜≡ 600 x black
≡˜≡ 400 x gold (this one)
≡˜≡ Death Hawks are currently touring Finland with Circle (whose recent LP Pharaoh Overlord is one of the year’s hidden gems). Sun Future Moon suggests the quartet may have picked a few tips from Jussi Lehtisalo and co. along the way.
Following the expertly executed if slightly derivative cavalcade of psych–rock templates on 2012‘s debut Death & Decay and the frost–bitten shamanic rituals of 2013‘s self–titled — and superb — follow–up, the propulsive kosmische grooves that populate Sun Future Moon carry a whiff of the epic space truckin’ intent of, say, 2010‘s Rautatie by the legendary Gonzo–Kraut maniacs from Pori, Finland. That‘s where the similarities between Death Hawks and Circle end, however.
≡˜≡ It‘s been relatively easy to trace the lineage of Death Hawks‘ past workouts. This time, the mixture of Autobahn–cruising motorik repetition, streamlined yet luxuriously layered arrangements — analogue keyboards abound — and increasingly tight grip on tune–craft that propels the sax–enriched “Ripe Fruits” ever upwards sounds like no one else. Whereas Death Hawks the album specialised in an untrimmed sprawl, the glimmering likes of “Beyond Thyme” — equipped with a startlingly beautiful instrumental coda that sails towards the heart of the cosmic regions where the titular inspiration of languid opening chant “Hey Ya Sun Ra” reportedly originated from — manage to sound positively limitless despite clocking in at around a relatively conservative five minute mark.
≡˜≡ Elsewhere, strange treasures abound: instrumentals “Wing Wah” (could the closing chant “ja ja ja” be a sly nod towards Death Hawks‘ UK debut at the 2014 London event of the same name? Possibly not) and “Seaweed” sound like selections from soundtracks for vintage dystopian disaster flicks that didn‘t get made, whilst the anthemic closer “Friend of Joy” tips its flower–sprouting, freak flag flying hat towards the band‘s familiar far–out Aquarian Age inspirations.
≡˜≡ With only the slow–burning “Future Moon” — a bit like Black Sabbath‘s "Solitude”, but short of its solemn majesty — and quirky robots–on–rampage stomp “Heed The Calling” failing to convince completely, Sun Future Moon is by some distance the band‘s most powerful statement to date — and most definitely a compelling case for the international renown Death Hawks deserve and, on this showing, demand.
By: Martyn Coppack
≡˜≡ Since 2010 Death Hawks have slowly been building a rather impressive repertoire of classic West Coast psych, none the more impressive when considering they hail from Finland. Geographical boundaries know no chains anymore though and whilst Death Hawks may sound like the amalgamation of all the classic psych bands, they do it in so good a style that you will simply fall in love with them. Next to The Diamond Center, they may just have released one of the defining psych albums of 2015 with Sun Future Moon.
≡˜≡ It’s the sheer audacity in how they approach their music that shines through. Mixing in folk, shoegaze, classic psych, rock and roll and a hefty dose of peace, love and acid, Death Hawks create a swirling lovebomb of an album. Throw in a hefty dose of darkness and you have an album which never slips into mundanity and continues to surprise on repeated listens.
≡˜≡ Essentially it’s an album of two halves with the first segment being the more upbeat tracks, which aim towards the dance floor. After building you up with the excellent ‘Hey Ya Sun Ra’, no doubt devoted to that greatest of musicians, they suddenly let loose with a pumping ‘Ripe Fruits’ and a rapturous ‘Dream Machine’, which threatens to derail the entire album with its urgent delivery. It could very easily have been a case of too much too soon, but as the synth swells out into a thumping beat you just know they have more up their sleeve.
≡˜≡ There is a sense of progression that is evident on these songs, which cast an interesting journey from their previous two releases. There is certainly a higher production value, but more importantly the band seem to have settled on a sound rather than the at times wayward sound of prior releases. They’ve always had a great knack at writing a song though, and when you listen to ‘Behind Thyme’ you can hear how that has formulated into something on a much higher plain.
≡˜≡ It’s that dark interior which drives the music of Death Hawks along though and for all the glorious abandonment they like to throw into their music at times, it’s when they bring things right down that you see another side. ‘Seaweed’ marks a distinct change in the album and although it’s majestic call beckons you to succumb to the glorious melting psych sunshine, you known you have to take the bad with the down with the up at some point. All good psych is built on this premise, the balance between light and dark, conjuring an atmosphere of uncertainty, which feeds on the extreme senses.
≡˜≡ Death Hawks could almost be mistaken for a progressive rock band if they weren’t want to drift off into such “out there” plains. They have a classicism about them that gives them an almost timeless appeal and in doing so evoke any number of bands or songs from your past life. This is until they grab you with something truly original and terrifying as they thrust straight into the dark ‘Dream Life, Waking Life’.
≡˜≡ ‘Heed The Calling’ manages to mix in a disconcerting tribal feel with an uplifting motif whilst ‘Wing Wah’ stutters along until a wonderful guitar soars out of the mix in what can only be described as a homage to 70’s funk. It’s a world away from the first half of the album yet makes total sense as Death Hawks bring you down from that euphoria into a much more fractured affair. Like the sun breaking through the blinds or curtains, ‘Future Moon’ offers a glimpse of what is to come but you know it is then end. A beautiful yet tired end.
≡˜≡ That end comes with the scratched acoustic beginning of ‘Friend Of Joy’, which sounds like a half remembered addition to what has gone before. Like wondering on after the main even they proceed to build up the tension again and return you to a state of ecstasy. A song of belonging, it’s built for communal gatherings and one wishes to stare up at the stars as the song whispers out its pattern. A stunning end.
≡˜≡ Death Hawks have reached an epiphany with this album and have really come into their own. As the psych scene fragments into different strands it great to see a band remain true to the essence of what made all those bands from the 60’s great and continue to build on that. They can join the ranks of Amen Dunes, Woods and The Diamond Center as being purveyors of a more classic style of psych which stakes its claim to join the masters. It may not be a masterpiece itself, but it sure isn’t far from being one. ≡˜≡ http://echoesanddust.com.previewdns.com/
By Janne Oinonen / 13 NOVEMBER 2015, 15:30 GMT / Score: 8
≡˜≡ http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/death-hawks-sun-future-moon Label: http://svartrecords.com/_____________________________________________________________
|Death Hawks — Sun Future Moon (November 13/27, 2015)|