I See Hawks In L.A. are a group of psychedelic country rockers that formed way back in 1999, and this is their seventh release.
There are several different vibes going on in there, although the predominant genre is country music, there are elements of blues, new wave, Celtic flavours and psychedelia, which all go to make this an extremely interesting melting pot of ideas and styles.
The lyrics are a blend of witty observation and direct comment which hits hard, such as ‘Stop Driving Like An Asshole’, a song that is extremely topical, what with the newspapers displaying a daily dose of deceased on our roads. this has the ability to make people stop and think. The song is wrapped up in a country style electric strum, with guitars to the fore, however it’s the lyrics that hold the imagination, especially the lines: “Stop driving like an asshole/ You know who you are/ Did you think when you cut me off it would help you go farther? / You’re an accident waiting to happen, a flipped over SUV/ On the 405, at six o’clock, your carcass on TV.”
The band also touch on subjects such as the human condition on tracks like ‘Mystery Drug’, a country style ballad that is primarily played out on acoustic guitar. Once again however, it is the lyrics that have the power to grab you: - “I am a lonely primate, craving drugs to soothe my mind and body/ I am alone/ I am a lonely primate, shunning any social group that could give me peace. I am sorry."
This band isn’t just however solely based around social commentary, however. They detour into classic country mantras such as relationship break ups, such as on ‘Yesterday’s Coffee’, a song that would fit easily alongside any by Gram Parsons: - “Yesterday’s coffee sits by the window/ Nobody really wants yesterday’s coffee/ And I know you’re thinking, thinking about leaving/ But every morning I’m still hoping – I’m here, I’ll do/ But you’re feeling something new."
The band also dip their toes into the new wave genre with ‘My Local Merchants’, a song that races along at a breakneck pace, a la Ramones, however, whilst the majority of songs on the first Bruddas album were uniformly negative, this is a song about how the people working in your local store have the ability to lift your mood: - “My local merchants cheered me up tonight/ My local merchants made me feel all right/ On a cold bitter night, that found me questioning my sanity/ I truly dug that little contact with humanity.”
The band will be touring the UK throughout June and July this year. Further information and CDs are available from I See Hawks In L.A online This is definitely a band worth investigating.