Courtesy: The Sign Records
Independent rock band The Hawkins is scheduled to release its sophomore album Friday. The 12-song record – Silence is a Bomb – is a record that given the right support will certainly make lots of noise. That is thanks to its musical arrangements and its lyrical content. The album’s penultimate song ‘Fisherman Blues’ is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement. It will be addressed shortly. ‘Minuette,’ the record’s midpoint, is another example of the album’s strength and will be discussed a little later. The same can be said of ‘Hilow,’ which comes early in the album’s run. All three songs do their own part to make Silence is a Bomb. All things considered, they make the album a work that holds its own against its more well-known mainstream counterparts and its independent contemporaries.
The Hawkins’ sophomore album Silence is a Bomb that deserves its own share of noise in the mainstream music realm. That is because its musical and lyrical content together is just as strong as anything that works from the band’s more well-known cohorts have released to date. That is proven in part through the album’s penultimate song ‘Fisherman Blues.’ The song’s musical arrangement is deceiving, starting out in fact in a decidedly blues fashion. However, that blues approach only lasts but so long before the band – Albin Grill (drums), Martin Larrson (bass), Mikael Thunborg (guitar, vocals), and Johannes Carlsson (vocals) – launches into a more fiery approach roughly one minute into the song. The approach that the band takes here is in a familiar neo-classic rock style. Listeners can hear influences of bands, such as Queen and KISS here alongside Led Zeppelin. What is important to note is that even with those influences in mind, the song’s arrangement is still its own distinctly unique presentation that will keep listeners engaged and entertained. Even more interesting is that even as infectious as the song’s arrangement is, its upbeat energy and tone goes somewhat counter to its equally familiar lyrical theme, but at the same time works so well with that content — that of a broken personal relationship.
The topic of the broken relationship (whether it is just personal in general or romantic is unknown and beside the point is inferred in the song’s chorus. Carlsson sings in the chorus, “I don’t want to be here with you anymore/’Cause you are taking me down with you every time you fall/Catch me if you can/You f****** cannonball/We’re here ‘til the hook comes ripping you apart.” That’s a pretty strong statement in just a handful of lines, and leaves little doubt as to the song’s lyrical theme. It’s just a portion of what makes the song’s theme so clear. Carlsson makes mention in the song’s lead verse of “Pulling away from the pain/The past pulling me apart” and that “I hear voices everywhere/Inside Out/Inside out/Through every scar…” Those brooding lines that open the song work well with the song’s chorus, to illustrate the thoughts and emotions of someone who has gone through a lot emotionally and is just done with it all. Again, this theme is accessible for pretty much any listener. Add in the equally infectious musical arrangement, and audiences get a song that is even stronger and more proof of the album’s strength, too. It is just one of the songs that serves to show why Silence is a Bomb is so worth hearing. ‘Minuette’ is another important addition to the album.
‘Minuette’ clocks in at barely over one minute, yet is still its own powerful work. The song’s arrangement is a hard-hitting garage punk style work that ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as ‘Fisherman Blues’ and any of the album’s other works. It lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Jet, The Darkness, and other similar acts. That fiery energy in the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out. It couples with the song’s equally strong lyrical theme to add to its interest.
The lyrical theme featured in this brief but so energetic song comes across as being another work about a relationship. Some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference. However, there is mention here of a “siren song” and of a “reflection” while the song’s subject asks the other person to “just give me a little more slack.” Hopefully that interpretation is at least somewhere in the proverbial ballpark. Either way, the seemingly intense lyrical content will engage and entertain listeners in its own right. When it is considered along with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song connects with listeners in its own unique fashion. Each side considered together here, the song leaves no doubt as to its importance in the bigger picture of the album and is just one more example of why the album is such a successful new offering from The Hawkins. ‘Hilow’ is one more way in which the album shows its strength.
‘Hilow’ is another key addition to The Hawkins’ new album in part because of its musical arrangement. The arrangement stands out just as much as that of ‘Minuette’ and ‘Fisherman’s Blues. This song’s arrangement is more of a pop rock style work that will take listeners back to the 90s. It is comparable to works from the likes of Gin Blossoms and Goo Goo Dolls among others from that era. The song’s lyrical content joins that arrangement to add to the song’s interest.
The lyrical theme here seems to center once more on the topic of a relationship that has ended. What is ended here is that considering the wording that can be deciphered, it would seem that maybe this was a relationship that ended less negatively than others, but still did not end on the best note. This is inferred as Carlsson sings in the song’s second verse that he “still had so much to say to you.” This even though the song’s subject sings in the song’s chorus, “I see your highs/I see your lows/I see them everywhere I go.” it really is a matter that will connect with listeners in that it seems to find the two people in the relationship at a unique position. Maybe it is that post breakup moment in which maybe the healing has started. It would be interesting to learn precisely what is happening here. If in fact that is what is happening here, it would explain the more positive sense that the song’s arrangement establishes. Keeping this in mind, it shows even more why the song is such an interesting addition to The Hawkins’ new album. What’s more, it shows even more why the album is such a positive new effort from the band. When this song is considered along with the other songs examined here, and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes a work that although independent, is just as enjoyable as anything that The Hawkins’ more well-known counterparts have released past or present. It is a work that is just as deserving as so many others to get a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock and independent albums lists.
The Hawkins’ new album Silence is a Bomb is a strong new offering from the independent rock band. That is due in part to its musical arrangements, which are diverse in their own right, displaying elements of pure rock, emo, and even punk among other rock sub genres. They collectively make the album appealing in its own right to listeners. The record’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as their musical counterparts. This is proven through all three of the songs examined where. When those songs are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a wok that deserves consideration on this year’s lists of top new rock and independent albums lists. It is scheduled for release Friday through The Sign Records. More information on Silence is a Bomb is available along with all of The Hawkins’ latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.