Black Rainbows Stream Hawkdope in its Entirety

black rainbows

Italian trio Black Rainbows will release their fourth album, Hawkdope, on March 14 (March 17 US). Aside from being one of the best titles for a record I’ve heard so far this year, Hawkdope also represents the latest stage in the Rome-based three-piece’s ongoing evolution. With dirt-caked fuzz tone, they continue to proliferate the catchy hooks and stoner vibes they’ve tossed around since their 2008 debut, Twilight in the Desert, but as with 2010’s Carmina Diabolo, their 2012 breakthrough Supermothafuzzalicious!! (review here), 2013’s Holy Moon EP (discussed here) and last year’s split with NaamWhite Hills and The Flying Eyes (review here), they seem to be figuring out new methods with each release, and as much as songs like “Killer Killer Fuzz,” “No Fuel No Fun” and “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock and Roll” would seem to tell their own story, Black Rainbows stewed up their best blend of driving riffs and Nebula-style heavy psychedelia on Hawkdope — released through guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori‘s Heavy Psych Sounds imprint — proving again that they never move from one project to the next without learning something along the way. Whether it’s the bluesy swirl they jam out in album closer “The Cosmic Picker” or the 90-second acoustic bounce of “Waiting for the Sun,” Hawkdope is rife with these lessons and a richer listening experience for them.

Fiore leads the charge with the launch riff of opener “The Prophet,” but bassist Dario Iocca and drummer Alberto Croce aren’t far behind, and immediately, Hawkdope makes an impression with its intelligent, classically-styled structure and rampant flow. Tones are consistent — and fuzzed way out — but are put to varied use. “The Prophet” and subsequent “Wolf Eyes” are straightforward enough and offer a kind of heavy boogie with currents of underlying psych weirdness in samples, effects, etc., that Black Rainbows have come to do very well, but with the title-track, the trio move further into space rock sprawl, a slower tempo and more cosmic vibe spreading out like lava over the course of the song’s nine minutes. There is no arguing with it, and whoever sold Fiore that Echoplex was doing us all a favor. black rainbows hawkdopeVibe oozes from the speakers as his nodding riff shifts into this or that jam, breaking into jazzy noodling and effects runs in the second half while Iocca‘s bassline carries the track forward, Croce building toward a resurgence that serves as the apex. “No Fuel No Fun” is rawer in comparison, but sets itself out with motoring low-end and a “doh-doh-doh” break in its chorus. The turn to “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock and Roll” is immediate, and the centerpiece of the CD somehow manages to up the fuzz quotient from the preceding tracks, which is no small feat. Classic stoner rock ensues as Fiore brings forward a ’70s style strut in the chorus without sounding retro or losing Hawkdope‘s distinct thickness as solo and riff intertwine, one layered over the other, a cascade of effects at the ready to finish out.

I’m reasonably certain “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock and Roll” is where the sides split up for the vinyl — at least that’s the most even breaking point between the record’s two halves — but either way, by the time “Waiting for the Sun” and the ensuing “Jesusjudge” take hold, a B-side expansion of sound is underway. “Waiting for the Sun” has little in common with the Doors song sharing the title, with its acoustic guitar at the fore, keyboard-style drone, tambourine and bluesy feel, lyrics about going to Mexico, and so on, and beginning with a drum fill from Croce, “Jesusjudge” opens to a satisfying roller of a groove, leaning hard on the turns for its chorus, but carrying through to the solo and making their way through the verse and hook again unscathed, leading the way to “Killer Killer Fuzz,” about which the most fitting thing to say is perhaps “as advertised.” A sample in the back end furthers some of the psychedelic feel, but at heart, it’s a riffer and Black Rainbows obviously know it. Closing, the 6:47 “The Cosmic Picker” is reminiscent somewhat of the most laid back, cosmic feel of “Hawkdope,” but looser and jammier, if also shorter. The guitar, bass and drums push — full toned and melodically resonant — toward a blissed-out crescendo, but ultimately, the song and album cap softly, a few lines from Fiore over a quiet instrumental epilogue, though to their credit, the way the track ends, they could have just as easily kicked back into to a full-on psych jam, and hearing Hawkdope come to its end, part of me can’t help but wish they had.

They’ve become forerunners of Italian heavy rock over the last seven years, and there are few out there who’ve done as much to champion their country’s cause to the international underground, whether it’s through touring their own material, setting up shows for bands coming through Italy or the work Fiore has done with Heavy Psych Sounds, but at no point does Hawkdope seek to be evaluated on anything other than the merits of its craftsmanship. And on that standard, it more than holds up. Black Rainbows hone a sound that will be familiar and welcome to fuzz worshipers, but at the same time belonging solely to the band, and they continue to evolve and progress, chasing the perfect riff through a cosmos of distortion.

Black Rainbows will be on tour in Europe most of this Spring. Tour dates follow the full stream of the album below. Please enjoy:

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records&Booking is Stoked to announce the dates of the European Tour of Black Rainbows.

The band is going to burn the road with their upcoming last full length album “HAWKDOPE” a mix of lisergic psichedelic tunes, mixed with power fuzz space riffings.

..bring the earplugs

18/03/2015 IT Bologna-Freak Out
19/03/2015 CH Luzern-Bruch Bros
20/03/2015 DE Augsburg-Bluebox Skate Park
21/03/2015 NL Nijmegen-Plufest
22/03/2015 FR Paris-Glazart
23/03/2015 DE Siegen-Vortex
24/03/2015 DE Erfurt-Cafè Tiko
25/03/2015 DE Leipzig-Sto
26/03/2015 DE Berlin-Dustown Fest
27/03/2015 CH Olten-Coq D’or
28/03/2015 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
29/03/2015 IT Milano-Magnolia

10/04/2015 FI Helsinki- Galactus Fest
11/04/2015 EE Tallin-Woodsock/Rockstar´s

28/04/2015 IT North Italy
29/04/2015 DE
30/04/2015 DE Nurnberg
01/05/2015 IT Bozen-Sudwerk
02/05/2015 AU Salzburg-Rockhouse
03/05/2015 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
04/05/2015 AU Innsbruck-PMK
05/05/2015 AU Feldkirch-Graf Hugo
06/05/2015 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando

09/05/2015 IT Rome Tba
17/05/2015 IT Livorno Tba

04/06/2015 UK Bristol-Stag & Hounds
05/06/2015 UK Northampton-The Labour Club
06/06/2015 UK Oxford-The Wheatsheaf
07/06/2015 UK Basingstoke-The Sanctuary
08/06/2015 UK London-The Macbeth

01/08/2015 GR Drama-Fuzztastic Fest

HEY AMERICAN DUDES!! pre order for HAWKDOPE in US available now from this link!!

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