Freedom Hawk is a hard rock band from Virginia (US), mainly focusing on vintage seventies rock, loaded with fuzzy guitars, groovy riffs and very strong vocals. For the main part this band can easily stand between Kadavar or Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Influences from classics like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple are never far away but Freedom Hawk also takes us to other eras in the world of rock'n'fuck'n'roll.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there's clearly a Ram Jam reference in the opener 'Blood Red Sky'. Yet, what this song actually does, is annouce almost an hour of highly energetic and uplifting rock music. Many people would refer to Black Sabbath when they hear this music but that's probably because they mainly focus on the distinct vocals. Singer T.R. Morton indeed has a high Ozzy-feel, both in timbre and in vocal lines.
Yet, when you listen beyond that reference, you'll discover a massive amount of groove, rock and fuzz where even bands like (old) Iron Maiden, Fu Manchu and AC/DC shine through. Maybe this might result in a heard-it-before feeling but fact remains, I've rarely heard it being so refreshing and enlivening before. Many present day classic rock bands have a pretty dark, or occult, approach. Freedom Hawk doesn't, Freedom Hawk immediately convinces and puts me in a real good mood with their fuzzy but bright sound.
My favourite song on 'Into Your Mind' is 'Lost In Space', a tremendous classic rock anthem with a very high sing-along calibre. This 'anthem' feeling is present throughout most of the songs. The level of songwriting is very high, a lot higher than many rockbands these days. The songs are quite complex but not complicated so they are well able to maintain enjoyable for a few consecutive listens. They offer a lot of variation by regularly shifting in tempo and heaviness. Here and there a psychedelic passage is incorporated, usually in elaborate guitar solos.
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats is my absolute favourite band in this classic rock revival but I feel like there's a very strong competitor looming around the corner. In fact, I'm going to watch Freedom Hawk tonight and I'll be doing a little interview with them as well. I wouldn't be surprised if these Americans claim the first spot on my (present day) classic rock shelf tonight...(sorry, nobody really 'beats' Black Sabbath, at least not in this household)
(update: I did see them live this evening and they rocked. Review coming soon...)