Review of Hawkeyes / The Radiation Flowers split LP on Sunmask / Cardinal Fuzz


Hawkeyes are a 6 piece instrumental heavy psychedelic space rock band from Kitchener Ontario. Their claustrophobic wall of sound flows from heavy, dark, and monolithic textured ambience towards more spacious soundscapes that always worships at the altar of Pompeii.

Saskatoon’s The Radiation Flowers revisit classic shoegaze and the 4AD sound with a heavier guitar driven edge. Dark, smoky ambience with floating vocals play off against analog fuzz guitars and a solid pulsing low end.

This was released as a limited pressing of 350 copies on eco colour vinyl with full colour printed inner sleeve and limited CDr release in vinyl replica jacket on 7th July 2017. Unsurprisingly the vinyl has sold out although the tracks are available digitally from the respective bandcamp pages which are embedded above.

It’s an excellent pairing for a split LP. Hawkeyes have a brooding, heavy sound with superb grooves propelled by solid drumming and bass, great changes in feel and excellent soloing too. The Radiation Flowers similarly have a distorted sound and superb grooves propelled by solid drumming and bass on 33 Floors up but demonstrate more of a shoegaze feel with dreamy vocals and laidback grooves on Always on the Ground and Never Fade.

Hawkeyes – Atom Heart Motherfucker
Acoustic riff, bass and sparse riff create a great vibe to open with excellent change of feel when the distorted riff enters. It’s a slow groove, purposeful with a great edge of tension. The solo sits low in the mix, gradually building tension to a release followed by uptempo riffing, drumming and bass and an edgy solo which releases to a slower groove ending with distortion / feedback.

Hawkeyes – Creator Destroyer
Acoustic riff to open accompanied by subtle bass leads into a distorted, harmonised groove propelled by solid drumming. The solo adds a great tension leading to a release with slightly distorted riff and subtle background conversation. Drumming enters to give momentum and tension builds to a final, sudden release.

The Radiation Flowers – 33 Floors Up
An excellent opening momentum from riffing, drumming and bass which creates a solid groove. Nice change in feel returning to the original groove.

The Radiation Flowers – Always on the Ground
Organ chord vamp, bass and drumming to open give a great feel to the groove, the guitar riff and wah solo build on this. The organ adds an excellent element. The vocals are superb, laid back with a dreamy feel. Distorted guitar riff adds a great tension building to a final release.

The Radiation Flowers – Never Fade
Distorted riff and chords to open, a slow purposeful groove propelled by solid drumming and bass. Superb vocals again with a dreamy feel. The song has great psych / stoner / shoegaze qualities. The solo and organ add excellent elements.

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