Low Flying Hawks

1. Smile
2. Uncool
3. Virgin Witch
4. Space Wizard
5. Hallucination
6. Twilight
7. Sinister Waves

Dale Crover - Drums
Trevor Dunn - Bass
Toshi Kasai - Vocals, Fx and Guitar on Track 4
AAL - Guitars, Vocals
EHA - Guitars, Lead Vocals

Kōfuku (2016)

Buzz Osborne - Vocals and Lyrics on Tracks 1 and 4

Produced by Toshi Kasai
Recorded and Mixed by Toshi Kasai at Sound of Sirens
Mastered by James Plotkin
Artwork and Design by laolab
Photos by Mata

Released 2017-08-25
Reviewed 2017-11-02

magnetic eye

You’d better keep your head down today as there are some hawks flying low in an illusion made through some hallucinogenic music, and as we all know hawks that are flying low are not to be taken lightly. Genkaku is the second album by the band with the amusing name that conjures up many strange thoughts, the name and cover that seems to be on the wrong way round actually feels more exciting than the album itself – at least in some regards.

The music itself can be described as sludge, drone, doom, or something down that line of reasoning, deciding music genres isn’t really my strongest skill but it is somewhere there. The songs are built on heavy and low tempo guitar playing with the vocals taking a more background position than what is usually the case on music album, though it is fairly common in this line of music. The vocals are actually quite good as well and the music can be described as rather atmospheric, almost like an illusion or something. And the album is also quite coherent and could probably have done well with a little more dynamics as I found it strangely difficult to focus on this album and it took me quite a long time to really get into it and get to know it.

The album almost leaves the sensation that I am listening to hawks that are trying to soar but there is no upwind to soar upon as they are flying too close to the ground. The album has its strength in the atmospheres but could have done well with something really attention grabbing, something grabbing the listener by the collar and keeps him or her listening. The album has an exciting atmosphere but it may be a bit too diffuse to really keep me listening, I have a good example of this from when I was researching this album earlier today, listening while vacuuming the interweb for facts. I found some interesting articles about the video game Final Fantasy VIII and all of a sudden the album had passed without me noticing that it was over. So while the album is good and has a great atmosphere, it doesn’t really catch my fullest attention.

In the end I thin Genkaku is an album for the band’s fans, for fans of the genre and this kind of music. To some, like myself, I think the album can feel a little bit monotonous and hence the illusion of greatness falls rather flat rather fast. But as I wrote before I think that those who like the genre should really have a look at this because the atmosphere it offers is brilliant and that has me thinking that they might be able to offer quite a lot to those genre fans. So, perhaps these hawks might be able to soar for some fans, but even low flying hawks are exciting so I think it is an album to check out – it has a great sound.



Label: Magnetic Eye Records
Three similar bands: Melvins/Howling Giant/Mr. Bungle

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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