Friday, March 6, 2009

A Light In The Black

FREEDOM HAWK – “Sunlight” CD ’08 (Magic Lady, US) – Man, this is nice stuff. I really dig this kinda find, ‘cause it’s simply all good from the git-go. You can start right from the tan, rustic-looking digipak, the widely varied song titles, "Sunlight" to "Executioner," and the fact that there's 2 guitarists in the line-up. You finally pop in the disc and things just keep on getting better. I hear these cats being called the East Coast Fu Manchu and while I can’t fault the guitar tone comparison, FREEDOM HAWK has more in common with the mighty Zep than Scott Hill’s unit. Just listen to the way T.R. Morton stretches his vocal pipes over a number like “Land Of The Lost". Check out the thoughtful-yet-crushing guitar layerings of Morton & 6-string co-conspirator Matt Cave on “Stand Back” & “Lightning Charge.” Here the work of Jimmy Page definitely comes to mind. And, digging even further into “Sunlight,” witness the last few cuts, “Palomino,” “Grab A Hold” and “King Of Order,” with it’s hidden-track groovin’ ending. Here the band expands like warm honey, opening doors to everything great about hard rock from the ‘70’s and now. Still, all that aside, the dual guitars and vocals consistently rule here, perfect implements for doling out songs that are at once riff-laden and draped with an alluring psych overtone. It’s a very impressive and confident sound indeed and had I received this disc before nailing my ’08 Top 10 in stone, it may have just made the cut. Word has it that FREEDOM HAWK have recently signed to Meteor Cit for a new long-player due later in ’09. If “Sunlight” is any indication, we’re witnessing the dawn of a special band. Rawk! 100 Watt Bulb

6 comments:

J.B. said...

Ray, I don't know if you've changed the format for your reviews, but I really dig the "100 watt bulb" and "2000 pounds of talent" way of rating at the end of the last two reviews. It leaves more to the imagination for the reader...and it's cool.

raysrealm said...

I do this every now and then for the fun of it. I like the numerical ratings and most readers do but every now & then, you get burnt out on it and need to do something that both cleanses the palette and still communicates what you want about the album. It seems to do that, people (like you!) like it and I also figure, just like the Outback Steakhouse commercial, "No rules, just right!"

Mark said...

totally disagree with John. The rating is your John Friggin Hancock at the bottom, and all the verbage in the world can't mask the importance of the number at the bottom.

raysrealm said...

Well Mark, you're entitled to feel that way but my opinion is that when I end up having to follow some kind of rules with this thing, it's time for me to stop. I can follow rules for my business, when I'm driving, etc. but when I do this, it's fun for me and I do whatever is fun for me. If I feel I've gotten across what I want to, I can sleep at night.

Mark said...

I hear ya, Ray. And when a text only review is done well, it's just fine. There's just so much middle-of-the-road false praise on review sites, writers afraid to piss anyone off with honesty, and it has a distilling effect on reading reviews when everything is vague, everything is great, etc. Thats where I'm coming from. Looking for some conviction.

raysrealm said...

I know what you mean, brother. I get tired of that too. I tend to focus as much of the time I have on bringing to light things that I like so other people can enjoy them as well. But, as ya know, when I get a bad one...well, I'll go ahead and lambast it. Kind of a purging, cleansing effect it has, if you know what I mean! :-)