Chickenhawk - 'Modern Bodies'
Hey, you there! Yes, you, flailing around and bellowing like a mad man and becoming a fan of 'ferocity' and 'chaos' on Facebook. May I suggest you give this album a listen? Make a note. 'Modern Bodies'. Chickenhawk. Got it? Good. Because this is an album that won't just knock your socks off, it'll incinerate them. It won't hurt though, promise.
As a band, this is one to keep your eye on for 2011 without a doubt and this debut album will show you exactly why. It's a lot of things to please a lot of people but is unmistakably different from anything else. They may possess the increasing vogue of noise rock 'isms' of the likes of Future of The Left and Pulled Apart By Horses, including the raw edge and blinding, sweating passion; but Chickenhawk are more than capable of standing independently with their music. If you are in any doubt regarding what tempo to expect from this band, opening track 'Scorpieau' will shed plenty of light. It hurtles at you like a blazing rocket re-entering the atmosphere. Perhaps exactly what they're going for, given 'NASA vs ESA' roars out with just as much intensity. In fact, NASA should consider commissioning them to provide bed music for their video footage. Just a thought there.
Do they ever let up on the intensity? Well, no. This is certainly not an album for somebody looking for a chill-out CD. If that's you, try 'NOW! Whale Song Classics 63' found in the Aquatic section of your local record store. If Chickenhawk ever take their foot off the gas it's with the mildly less abrasive and more melodic riffing of tunes like 'The Letdown', even with touches a more mangled and provoked Death From Above 1979 seeping through.
Chickenhawk are at their best when they are delivering crashing waves of manic, heavy guitar and beefy bass lines, as best demonstrated through tracks like 'Son of CERN'. There are elements to their sound to keep those with a penchant for metal, like your Evile and your Austrian Death Machine types, most happy indeed. Particularly with the sheer deliciousness of the dirty chug and scaling chords of 'My Name Is Egg', which is also one of the highlights in one of their live sets so have a look out for that. Another track worth mentioning is 'Kerosene', which strikes as a complete indulgence in the glory of mucky rock for the band as musicians. From cheeky bass at the start, through the hammering of the drums, to the minute or so's worth of instrumental breakdown finished with a scorching guitar solo... yeah, it's pretty good.
The clear and outright winner to be given title of cherry atop this trifle of madness is definitely 'I Hate This, Do You Like It'. Regardless of specific alternative tastes, this is one undeniable tune and a half. In a live show this would be the song to bring the enamoured, the lukewarm, and the unconvinced all together in a celebration of all that is manic and fantastic about rock n' roll. Energetic, memorable and bursting with the most roasting of guitar you should ever wish to hear, it's a song that embodies what Chickenhawk are all about.
'Modern Bodies' is a cracking album, and could certainly be gathered up beneath the 'noise rock' umbrella. They're loud, uncompromising and very, very raw. But it could be safely argued that they do it in the most sprawling and relentless fashion, in a way that your Pulled Apart By Horses types just aren't willing to commit to.