Sweden’s high-flying garage rock outfit The Hawkins are set to release a new mini-album in autumn 2021. Following the release of 2020’s Silence is a Bomb and its affiliated live-album Live in the Woods, The Hawkins decided to make something different. The result is Aftermath – a conceptual mini-album, dealing with the destructive aftermath of past relationships, the tattered mess left behind, the anger in between panic attacks, hearing yourself hoping for someone else to save you and finally giving up. With a dark yet humoristic energy The Hawkins goes from plastic jazz to film music that is cleithrophobic (the fear of being trapped), via bubblegum pop and the more hardcore side of the Rolling Stones…Hurtful but fun!
The Hawkins have actually been around for a while, they’re a bit older than their brand of garage rock might suggest! Their debut EP Part II: The Puppet Show was released in 2014 and they had a fairly tough baptism of fire on the touring circuit, playing all over their home country but struggling with having to drive nearly 2000 miles around Russia during a -30°C winter!
In 2017 the band’s first full length album Ain’t Rock n Roll came out via Gain Sony Music followed by extensive touring through Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and France. The band even got to teach the love of music at a school in Sachseln, Switzerland. In return, the Swiss kids taught them about extremely strong chewing tobacco!
In the summer of 2018 the band went touring in Poland and Slovakia. After just one show the bus broke down in Wrocław, Poland, with practically everything they owned inside it. And the icing on the cake in the face was that frontman Johannes forgot the papers stating his ownership of the bus. As if that wasn’t enough, while packing for the 2019 UK Tour, The Hawkins had to cancel the whole tour due to booking issues. One day before departure!…
The band then signed a record deal with The Sign Records in 2019 and released their second full length album Silence is a Bomb in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not being able to play shows, they decided to record a select number of songs from the album as a live show in the middle of the woods, a brewery and a barn. The three recording sessions resulted in the 2021 live album Live in the Woods. Which brings us nicely up to date!
On Aftermath, The Hawkins’ “rock’n’roll wittiness” comes over in slightly darkened nuances. The band do have a dynamic and quite quirky take on garage rock, and the songset is performed with an underlying sense of held-back anger, angst, and apprehension. Experimental and bolder than before, the album has six tracks moving from explosive outbursts of energy to calmer, acoustic parts, with manic episodes in between.
As garage bands go, The Hawkins do have a mix of quirky songwriting, easy-going energy and a surprising amount of quite gentle tunefulness, all of which adds up to a highly entertaining blast of seriousness and fun!
The band have recently released the single Svääng from the forthcoming album (see video below). Ironically, I think its the weakest track of the six! They obviously like it, it’s “an extremely live and loose” take, and I think they could improve on this – but hey!….
Aftermath was recorded at Shiitake Sounds. Mixed by Johannes Carlsson and mastered by Hans Olsson. Cover artwork for the mini-album and its single tracks by Joel “Kebabfinger” Kallioniemi.
”Aftermath” will be released via The Sign Record on September 3. The mini-album will be available on all streaming platforms and 12” vinyl.
“Aftermath” is distributed by:Cargo – Germany, Switzerland and Austria; MVD – North America, Japan, New Zealand and Australia; Plastic Head – UK & Eire; Border – Sweden and Norway; Supersounds – Finland; Soundworks – France; Mystic – Poland, Czech Rep, Slovakia and Slovenia; Audioglobe – Italy; Musicworld – Hungary; Wizard – Bulgaria; Suburban – Holland and Belgium; Karonte – Spain and Portugal.