Freedom Hawk’s Small Stone Records Debut “Holding On” Reviewed
Small Stone Records Deliver The Goods, Again.
Written by Ian Gerber for The Soda Shop
I have to admit I have been waiting for this record since I heard the news that Virginia Beach’s Freedom Hawk had signed with Small Stone. I hadn’t heard of the band before that, but the preview trailer of their new album really caught my attention. I always welcome a band into my music collection that has killer vocals and lays down a heavy groove. Freedom Hawk fits the profile. You are going to want to hear this one.
On first listen, it is impossible to avoid connecting the golden era of Black Sabbath’s first four records to Freedom Hawk’s sound. Of course, that is how you know you are probably in for a kick ass rock record. T.R. Morton’s vocals could easily be a dead ringer for Ozzy at his peak. Can I get an “Alright now!!!” Echoes of Sabbath abound on this record, literally. The song “North Swell” kicks off with the same uptempo riff that is in “Into the Void”. Obviously, its a tribute. Not every band could get away with it, but I think it is appropriate. While not as obvious, I also hear a nod to “Embryo” from Master of Reality, in “Faded”. I also hear a lot of Thin Lizzy, T-rex, and ZZ Top in their sound, so I think it is safe to say that these four southern gents have done their homework when it comes to kick ass 70′s rock and roll.
The album’s opening track “Thunderfoot” starts with a slow and phasey guitar intro that morphes into a nice mid-tempo doomy number complete with an upbeat tempo change to allow for some nice lead guitar work from Matt Cave. The album quickly percolates into track after track of riff heavy 70′s proto metal throwbacks, all performed with a modern edge, complete with harmonized guitars taking charge and the thundering rhythm section of Marck Cave and Lenny Hines holding it down for them. There isn’t a bad track on this album. However, the middle of the record is when “Holding On” kicks it up a notch. The spacey interlude of “Zelda”, which is probably your best bet to pack one up for the rest of the ride, sets up the crushing “Nomad” which nicely roll’s right into “Magic Lady”. The album then takes a detour into the shake-your-booty zone with “Bandito” which begs to be compared with fellow East Coast natives, Clutch. It’s clean toned funky wah-wah riff is a nice break from the headbanging guitar punishment. It’s definetly my favorite track. Closing the album is another heavy handed metal tinged track featuring a galloping thrash inspired riff by the name of “Indian Summer”. Of course, it rocks hard and nicely caps of this fine sonic offering to the gods of rock and roll.
I think that the that strike me the most about Freedom Hawk is that they could potentially be *GASP* “hard rock radio friendly”. That is of course if the world ends and someone gives both of the barrels to Clear Channel’s monopoly of the airwaves. Small Stone records have put out a few records this year that could potentially do just that and I hope that if any labels breaks through that it is them. For now, if the suits in charge of the radio don’t know, we ain’t telling.. and that’s the way it should be.
Holding On will be available on ITunes August 16 and the CD is set for a release sometime in October with a vinyl release to follow.
Link to orignial post...http://thesodashop.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/freedom-hawks-small-stone-records-debut-holding-on-reviewed/