The good tidings of Summer brings usually the peppier side of music. It’s now, in the festival high tide, where the fresh, upbeat music gets released. Hence us music journos/hacks/brown-nosers/patreon-ed lackeys abusing the term “summery tune” (or a variation of) for these songs.
Although math rock always has a inherent emotional undercurrent, Crashtactics’ The Hawk is Out contains a healthy dose of fiercesome tracks. Four tracks more in tune with the backcatalogue of Superstar Destroyer Records than the current output of Minus The Bear, who’ve mellowed out through the years. Perhaps a balance in energy is maintained and the energy lost by so many math rock band of yore is now being siphoned and re-used wisely by a new generation. Entropy and enthalpy, you dig?
So, ‘Williams’, a flashy intro that does the required job: it sells the idea of the band, it gets your attention for a “less than 3:30 is a happy pop song, yeah!” running time and sets the stage. It’s up for the other three tracks to maintain or waste momentum. ‘FDP’ decides to go for an Oceansize template: hard rocking in moments, breezy and meditative in others. The solo is brutally cut in its prime, but the following atmospheric ambience makes for it. It’s a bit of the Zeigarnik effect. EP closer ‘Wires’ again conducts a seance with the spectre of Oceansize, and you know what? That was a band that needs all the tributes and love it can get and here’s a good one.
‘Thayil’ has squealy guitars, maybe paying it forward to a certain Kim Thayil. Mayhaps not. The gamut of effects on rotation lets the repeating nature of math rock get a fresh reinvention. Take note, Chon. Love the quoting of La Haine, a film that is pretty relevant right now, with the social scale already tipped and tempers ready to blow. This is the hardest of all four and it’s worth a butcher’s if you’re looking for a place to start with Crashtactics.
Short but sweet. Worth a punt if you want something with a nice aftertaste in your summer-y music.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López.