If the hardcore world is currently riding The Wave, then History Of The Hawk are busy whipping up a sandstorm on the shore, thrashing at their instruments and causing havoc among kids feasting on a diet of leftfield hardcore.
As far as statements of intent go, 'Ocean' is about as subtle as a kick in the teeth. Taking a bold step back in time, this is a band who ply their trade in short, punchy songs that manage to cram in enough off-kilter time signatures and sandpaper riffing to give it that all-important depth. Super stuff. - Oli Robertson
Big Cheese 4/5
A great big melting pot of hardcore goodness.
Having only formed this year, History Of The Hawk are clearly doinjg something right with this, their debut EP. Their music is something of a mish-mash, fusing an incredibly large variety of sounds from the hardcore spectrum of the last 20 or 30 years. It's both reminiscent of these older sounds, yet at the same time sounds remarkably innovative. There are hints of Converge's aggression, Minor Threat's straight -ahead simplicity and a certain jagged, Fugazi-esque spiky edge. The best thing about it is that often fusing such varied sounds can fail spectacularly, but in this case, it really really works.
Right from the get-go, it's pretty clear that this is a very neat debut EP from the Stourbridge five-piece, History Of The Hawk. The best way to describe this would be Bring Me The Horizon, meets Lower Than Atlantis, meets The Rezillos. This is post-hardcore with a punk influence, and it works pretty well actually.
Opener 'X Is The New Y' is an eloquent build-up to an otherwise wild EP, hinting at what is about to audibly assault the listener, this would make a crisp opener to almost any gig - controlled build up to a wild, energetic crescendo - and bursting into 'Freyer'; the definition of this band in one song. If you only listen to one song on this EP, this is the one. It's aggressive, it's edgy, it's hardcore music with a punk attitude, and the limited production values only add to this - it's a very intimate, yet explosive EP.
'You, Me, Let's Cyberside Baby' and 'Parisians' follow a similar track to 'Freyer', a rather Biffy Clyro-esque structure, of a controlled intro, almost lulling you into believing this is easy listening prog-rock, which then descends into chaos, but chaos of the finest form, with intricate key changes and time signatures, this is so much more complex than meets the eye. 'Social Heat' however, is just a punchy, punk song, energetic and snappy, and the closing song showcases the clean vocals that this quintet possess, showing a completely different side to History Of The Hawk.
Ability is here in abundance, this is probably as good a debut EP as you will hear in a long time, definitely worth listening to. With this debut, the band seem to be out to prove to be more than just a hardcore band.
You're a true hero if you can take parts of the early 90s DC hardcore sound and melt it together with 21st century noisy hardcore not unlike Gallows or a less metallic Converge. And it's that amazing amalgation that these lads from Stourbridge bring to the table. However, we shouldn't forget that this band is only an infant in the music scene. In just a few months they've reached levels that many experienced bands couldn't achieve in a life time. The Hawk flies miles high, even before it's even learned how to walk. - Martijn Welzen