Friday, January 5, 2018

Woodhawk - Beyond The Sun



"Penfold, I've got the best idea!"
"'Bout what?"
"How everything can be fixed!"
"Fixed?  What do you mean?  What's being fixed?"
"Everything, man!"
"Yeah, you said that already.  What...specifically...are you going to fix?"
"How about the human race for starters?"
"Okay, I'll bite.  What aspect of the human race do you intend to tweak?"
"Dude.  Right now, right this very minute, people are living in the sand."
"Sand?  Explain."
"Imagine you are an interstellar traveler from a galaxy far, far away.  You monitor the newsfeeds bouncing around our satellites.  What do you think your impression of humanity will be?"
"For the purpose of this experiment we're assuming that I can understand all of the languages spoken on Earth?"
"No.  You're limited to interpreting images and video only."
"Alright.  Under those conditions I imagine I'd see humans as rather lawless creatures."
"Exactly!"
"But how does that relate to sand, or living in sand, or whatever it was you said?"
"Stay with me bro.  Humanity is essentially stuck in a giant sandstorm, plodding along aimlessly.  What we need is someone like me.  I'll act as the new high priest who can foresee the future.  I'll preach about my quest for clarity which in turn allows me to believe in and be filled with a new hope for everyone!  Following my guidance we, the people of Earth, will begin living beyond the sun!"
"Stop.  I don't know what kind of recreational drugs you're currently indulging in, but as far as I can tell the rails of logic you're travelling down just abruptly ended and you drove your mental locomotive directly off a cliff."
"That's just plain hurtful Penfold."
"I call 'em like I see 'em."

Howdy waveriders.  Recently I was surveying music which caught my interest in 2017 and much to my dismay I discovered that I had failed to write anything about Woodhawk's altogether excellent album Beyond The Sun.  Shame on me!  It's high time I rectify this gross miscarriage of music reviewing justice!  So, without further ado...

Hey friends!  Do you like stoner rock?  Do colossal guitar riffs cause involuntary spikes in your blood pressure?  Do you yearn for clean vocals?  Do you appreciate when a collection of songs fit neatly inside the classic, vinyl-established, forty minute window?  If the answer to those questions is yes (and how can it not be?!?!) then you'll flip your lid over this album!

Woodhawk is a power trio from Calgary.  Near as I can tell they formed back in 2013.  Beyond The Sun is their first full length release, preceded only by an EP back in 2014.  I am flabbergasted at how polished this band sounds on their maiden full length voyage.  From the opening notes of title track "Beyond The Sun" to the final moments of "Chrononaut", there is not an ounce of musical fat to be found.  Everything is lean and mean.  Speaking of the title track it does a fine job setting the mood, sounding at times like early material from The Sword, but the album really takes off for me with the second track, "High Priest".  Later on the sauntering "Magnetic North" effortlessly gets my foot stomping and my head banging.  My two favorite songs on BTS are "Living In The Sand" and "Chrononaut".  Oh, did I mention that this album also contains a Star Wars song?  It's true.  "A New Hope" is all about using the force and wouldn't you know it?  It's quite good.

Waveriders if you have yet to hear Beyond The Sun by Woodhawk treat yourself to a belated Christmas gift from me, your buddy Penfold.  Click on the embedded bandcamp player below, go to youtube, or visit whatever service you prefer for sampling new tunes.  Bottom line?  You're going to love this album.

-Penfold

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