Low Flying Hawks - Anxious Ghosts (2019)
Following up on their two existing albums after a year away, the duo of Low Flying Hawks deliver five songs on this EP, leading with the grimy and down-cast blues of “Night Flight”. Taking about two minutes to paint a picture with acoustic strings, somber voices, and incidental noises, the band makes a turn into similar but distinct territory with the follow-up track “Somewhere (Part 1)”. Branching out into more of a desert rock vibe, the pair take their time to thoroughly establish the atmosphere and a backing beat before bringing in any words. Despite the low-key nature, there's a palpable feel of rising tension, from the abrupt twangs of the guitar to background tones and increasing weight on the drum-hits.
It's essentially a five-minute preamble, leading directly into “Somewhere (Part 2)”, which rides the elevated intensity right into a crash of bass and firmly fuzzy stoner rock grooving. Building, reinforcing, and diving into the main riff makes up most of this song's nearly eight-minute run, and I expect it'll be the high point for a lot of listeners. Having set that benchmark on the EP, though, the band goes even harder with the next tune, “Hollow Grasp”, bringing a harsher edge to the guitar work and vocals while maintaining the bleary fuzz miasma. Some slick echo effects applied to the singing make things even more disorienting, as does the tail-end switch back to the gentleness of the EP's opener. That change-up flows pretty smoothly into the last of the songs, “Doors to Nowhere”, which builds from an early stoner/desert rock groover into a heated and rambunctious blazerr, before easing itself out onto a cloud of static.
As much fun as the individual songs are, it's maybe even more enjoyable for the way the band maps out the rise and drop of energy over the EP. In any event, it's a cool experience with lots of little details to savor, and vinyl copies are going fast. Take half an hour to check it out, and see how it grabs you.
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