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Monday, April 20, 2015

LP Review: Hawkdope by Black Rainbows

We’re all about supporting and promoting the best new bands around in our music scene here at Heavy Planet, but just occasionally an established, successful band releases an album that we just can’t keep our mouths quiet about. For this time, we welcome back Black Rainbows with trembling open arms.

Eight years and four albums in, these Italians have fine tuned their sound to perfection. Nine songs of chokehold stoner fuzz to rip open a smile onto anybody’s face, Black Rainbows have produced an record filled with decade spanning hard rock with lashings of 70’s biker-worn denim jackets, 90’s haze filled smokey bedrooms, and modern day clinical execution of their pinpoint riffs and pounding percussion. Black Rainbows aren’t here to fuck around.

With vocals falling somewhere between Fu Manchu and Black Sabbath, there’s a familiar voice coursing through the energetic fuzz that these guys spew out as ‘The Prophet’ starts the album in top gear, one which the band impressively maintain throughout with droning, gasping singing, and psychedelic tinged guitar wanderings more often than not overlapping the stoner guitar riffs that just barely manage to keep the band’s feet on the floor.

Perhaps where the beauty lies in Hawkdope is in the band’s ability to write hard psych songs that don’t drift too far away and become alienating to the casual listener; they instead write songs with solid platforms that allow you to flow easily along with the Black Rainbows ride. If you take a track such as the self-titled, nine-minute ‘Hawkdope’, and you follow the band through all of the stages of their existence, casually drawing you in with a seismic pulsating riff, hypnotising you with the delicately higher toned vocals, before slowly turning you into a gravity defying acid trip to a purple meadow of happy thoughts. The heavy stoner jams of ‘Jesus Judge’ and the behemoth ‘Killer Killer Fuzz’ are essential to the band’s being, as when they aren’t drifting away with their psych, the god sized riffs on offer pound the band somewhere back to the stone age type of heaviness; it becomes a little breath-taking to experience.

Without doubt, Hawkdope is going to be the hard psych/heavy fuzz record of this year, and possibly the next, as we’ll hear the records’ vibrating echoes for a long time after playing. It’s time for other bands to step up to the table and bring their A game, if they’re not too scared.

Hawkdope is out now on Heavy Psych Sounds Records 

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