Hawk Eyes - Advice

Hawk Eyes Advice cover
Hawk Eyes
Drakkar Entertainment
Hawk Eyes are a British rock band, that’d been on ice for unspecified reasons and now returns with a new fourth album on Drakkar Entertainment. A statement that does sound rather odd, since we’re talking about the same label that used to have Sodom and Kreator at some point (probably the lowest for both bands among a roster of stoner and goth acts).
The album has a weird, urban, slightly prog sound… prog in the vein of your “Leprous” es and such, ie pop/rock with the odd chord progression that doesn’t exactly sit that well, slightly more inspired percussion and outside the box thinking and over all aesthetics that extend to the lyrics as well. And solos, I mean, your regular pop band doesn’t do them, or at least doesn’t go out of their way to include em.
Opener “Royal Trouble” is an interesting garage/fuzzy cascading prog ditto with its odd rhythms…
“Follow Me” feels as if it’s going to explode, with its angsty riff and I suppose, its chorus does climax a bit, but not in a massive way.
“Never Lead Me” flirts with a more alternative sound and it’s wowing enough, but it could still go a step beyond, I feel.
“New Greek Fire” is more brit-poppy with its quirky rhythms and weird punkish vocals and definitely tries to disrupt things, but while it does so, it might have needed that chorus to really ignite, than slowly shimmer.
“Perfect Again” is weirdly slightly syncopated and unnerving with its interesting buzzasaw riffs but also poppy.
“Advice”, the title track is… well weird, downtrodden, almost Tool-like in mood, but obviously nowhere near as complex instrumentally.
“Smokes” has this semi-spoken word quality, as it features a guest appearance from actor and writer Richard O’Brien, whom you might recognize from his roles in the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Riff Raff), Dark City and The Crystal Maze series. It reminded me of the hilarious “Shia LeBouf” musical number… starring Shia LeBouf; it even has a cool chorus line that’s so irresistible, that sounds almost like Beastie Boys and it could have been a hit… no way that they didn’t choose this one as a single! Why?!
“Hand in My Heart Cage” has some interesting conundrum percussion that makes it rather brooding… not nightmarish, but certainly quite dramatic. Now we’re talking…
“State of Opposition” relies too much in what its predecessors do, thus sounding a little tired by this point.
“Win on Win” is sultrier and poppier, with a decadent riff and thus its easily likable.
Lastly, “Keep ‘em Cold”, despite its tight and energetic intro, quickly runs out of steam and its chorus doesn’t manage to really pick up the slack that the lowered speed leaves in the balance.
Well, better than your average “rock” band, but rather unable to be as direct at it might be necessary to be the flavor of the week, they might be “critically” acclaimed, but widespread success seems to elude em. From a critic’s standpoint, they’re fairly good at what they do… but will that be sufficient “advice” for people to give them the time of the day? I suspect not…