Chickenhawk ‘A.Or Not’ CDEP 2009

Chickenhawk 'A.Or Not' CDEP 2009When Chickenhawk’s debut album on Sound Devastation landed it was a caustic breath of air whose collision of punk and hardcore mixed with general fuckery took a switchblade to the throat and ran off giggling down a darkened alleyway. Several gigs later, including appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals, a zombie related video, and a new home at Brew Records see the Leeds guys back with a new three track release.

Have Chickenhawk done an about face and gone down the route of indie credibility? Have they fuck. This EP is very much business as usual. If anything the addition of a second guitar has pumped up the sound with a suitable injection of steroids that ups the metal quotient. Opening track “I Hate This Do You like It” trims away a lot of the spastic excesses of the album for a more straight ahead metal sound with a greater ear for melody. Fear not Hawk fans, this is still abrasive stuff that could take paint off a wall at 60 paces but has a keener sense of coherence than previously. Track two “Son of Cern” continues in the same vein taking the band at times in Voivod “Killing Technology” era style discordance without disappearing up its own sphincter. The final track “Nasa vs ESA” is a slightly more conventional affair, almost going as far as to boast a groove and a melody that could pass for a chorus and wouldn’t have seemed entirely out of place on a Faith No More album. Obviously they won’t stray too far from familiar territory and things do go a bit Voivod in the middle but nowadays Chickenhawk know when to pull on the reins and bring things back together.

And then it’s all over…three tracks and none that could be classed as epics but when you pack as much into one song as Chickenhawk do you don’t need much more. In the short space of time since the release of the album it’s clear then band have progressed at a natural but quick pace to produce another fine quality release. Sure it won’t be to everyone’s taste…parents will hate it and the vocals may be an acquired taste but this could well be the stepping stone that takes the Hawk boys to another level…Kerrang beckons methinks.

Label: Brew Records

Scribed by: Ollie Stygall