Kicking off 2015 with a bang, Hawk Eyes are straight in with their somewhat long awaited follow-up to the brilliant ‘Ideas’ album. It seems bloody ages since the ‘That’s What This Is’ E.P. came out and if you add in the time spent waiting since paying through Pledge/Pre-order, well it is a bit of a gap but probably not an unreasonable one… we’re just impatient here at CackBlabbath.
We’ve been hooked on Hawk Eyes for quite a while, since those Chickenhawk days, in fact. Mixing up catchy rock tunes with just a fair bit of mind knotting madness, Hawk Eyes have always put a jagged edge on anything catchy in their back catalogue. In fact, some of their riffs sound as though they’re being played backwards whilst falling down a spiral staircase, and that’s how we like them.
So it’s been a bit of a wait (as we’ve already moaned), but ‘Everything Is Fine’ is here and we’re all charged up for a new chapter in the Hawk Eyes story. With this album being well over a year in construction, you can imagine that this isn’t going to be a straight ahead continuation from the last album.
Indeed, this isn’t ‘Ideas II’ and that’s not what anyone needs really. ‘The Trap’ still may just catch you off-guard however. A mellow intro contrasts with Hawk Eyes’ usual brash introductions but once things get going we get a nice sharp and bouncy riff to make you feel at home. It’s a melodic track at heart though and it might even resemble a bit of Biffy in the nice and smooth chorus line.
Hawk Eyes flirted with the mainstream with their last album. It’s not often CackBlabbath favourites get played on Radio 1, but these guys managed it and look set to go there again with this one. The band have taken some of the rough edges and madness out of their sound on ‘Everything Is Fine’ but if that previous Biffy comparison had you scared, then you’ll be relieved to know that there’s still plenty in here for the established fan base.
‘Everything Is Fine’ is more direct, less confused and just more of a straight “Rock” album than we’ve heard before. The Hawk Eyes stamp is still marked boldly on everything here however…
Second track ‘The Ambassador’ is a nice paranoid number to contrast the opener and ‘Permission’ is a mammoth shout-fest to loosen your dandruff. Hawk Eyes are just as effective when they spread their wings a little on this album. ‘The Ballad of Michael McGlue’ has an almost choral quality to it as does ‘Night Music’
‘Terribly Quelled’ is a standout track, with a hint of Therapy? but with a bucket load of Hawk Eyes circa 2015, it ticks plenty of boxes over here, as does the already familiar ‘More than a Million’ which is just a massive hard rock song.
So, all in all, ‘Everything Is Fine’ is a winner as far as CB are concerned.
Hawk Eyes have progressed their sound and have dared to change a little bit which will always raise eyebrows. This album seems to be a more vocal led set of songs. We haven’t run any technical statistics to back that statement up, but it’s just an impression you get on listening. It’s more immediate and less complex to what we’re used to in places but the Hawk Eyes trademarks are still there and when you dig a little there’s still plenty of jagged edges to snag your best jumper on.
Everything is indeed fine.