Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Review: Rhythm Hawks

Rhythm Hawks - S/T (Independent)
New Zealand’s Rhythm Hawks sound like they’re channeling Cream, Hendrix and Iron Butterfly. Not a sound or style you instantly identify with New Zealand bands, but that’s probably my fault for being brought up on Flying Nun Records, and by brother’s love of all things Crowded House. Halfway into the their debut 7-track EP and I’m thoroughly converted to the new way of thinking. Their heavy blues and a raggedy rock moves may invite comparison with some of the true innovators and psychedelic legends of the late ‘60s, but the Wellington quartet are more than up to the challenge.

There’s no room for filler on an EP, and here the Rhythm Hawks don’t disappoint. Kicking off with “40 Miles”, singer Shanti Costar informs us he’s got a devil on his tail, a girl on his mind, tired feet and needs his bed. It’s classic blues imagery, but fresh and primary, and the band play it tough and loose. If I had to choose just one track, and it’d be under protest, then it’d have to be “Shake N Shout” – an unholy alliance of fundamental Stooges and heroic groove – essential listening for longhairs everywhere.
Rob F.

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