FRONT Magazine

LUKE’S ALPHABET TOUR: H – HAWK EYES

Now that festival season is over and watching bands doesn’t include sneaking beer down your shorts or scraping mud off your clothes, it’s time to step it up a gear on the Alphabet Tour. I’m back with H for Hawk Eyes and these guys really deserve your time.

Who: Hawk Eyes
When: 6 September, 2013
Where: The Black Heart, Camden, London
Beer: £5 for a pint of Camden Hells (lolwut?)
Average age: 25
Cost of a t-shirt: £10
Best bit: Skyspinners!
Worst bit: The invasive stench of piss.

“Shit yeah, Hawk Eyes!” is what you should be shouting until your lungs fill with bile after reading the headline of this post. These guys are so under-appreciated it’s fucking criminal and I’m here to convince you why this noisy Leeds crew deserves to be in your iTunes – you know, underneath your drunkenly downloaded Har Mar Superstar discography.

I first heard these guys when I saw them supporting Alexisonfire at Rock City in Nottingham – back when they were called Chickenhawk – and now they’re a completely different beast. They’re tighter, louder, the songs are stronger and they’ve found themselves a loyal fanbase THAT SHOULD BE BIGGER.

Tonight it’s their EP launch party at The Black Heart and the room is full of half-cut dudes working their way into that pissed-up sway you always find yourself in. With a setlist comprising new EP That’s What This Is as well as choice picks from the fan-pissing-tastic album Ideas, the sweaty darkened room is transformed into a full-on distortion fuelled party.

If you’re new to Hawk Eyes and don’t know what they sound like, I can’t really help you other than telling you to listen to them. Attaching them to a genre is unfair as they’re not really metal, they’re not really punk, they’re not really sludge – it’s just quality alt. rock (yes that term could mean fucking anything from Nickelback to Primus, but you try defining them!).

As strong as the new EP is, the real crowd-pleasers lie in the Ideas material. Skyspinners sounds monumental coming out of a PA far too powerful for this 150 capacity venue – especially with a load of lagered-up fans screaming the chorus back at the stage. But you know what? FUCK THE STAGE! One of the best things about small venues like this is there’s no barrier segregating artist from fans, so frontman Paul Astick sets himself up in the middle of the pit for the second half. Screaming his way through the chaotic You Deserve A Medal and Bears By The Head – with the shrieks of “Man verses The Minotaur!” reverberating around the room – Hawk Eyes have once again proved why they’re one of the most underrated live acts in the UK today. They’re touring in October with Black Spiders, you owe it to yourself to be there.

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