Originally released digitally and on (sold out) cassette back in 2013, Poison Slows You Down by Kitchener sextet Hawkeyes is now seeing a vinyl release, the ideal format for these four tracks of dangerously psychedelic sludge/doom.
With six people contributing to the noise you know the sonic landscapes they create are vast and multihued. Mind-bending psychedelics cascade through a sea of massive riffs buoyed by deadly tone. It’s all too easy to get sucked into the swirling galaxies of sound emanating from your chosen listening device.
Through a psychedelic haze one can pick up a range of inner workings that make the instrumental tracks more than just an exercise in space and tone. You’ll find a dash of Americana in the denouement of “March of the Elephants”, a track which cannot be more aptly named (and appeared on the excellent House of Burners compilation). “Their Lust Grown With Their Size” is so drugged out your eyes will bleed as it rides swirling wisps of smoke through the dark void. But like the contrast of stars in the night sky an insectile, cricket-like noise needles sharply, deep into the brain. In the wrong hands it would make an effective weapon but Hawkeyes spin it into an alien transmission.
Poison Slows You Down is massive, not surprisingly as when six people enforce a common goal the results are bound to shake foundations. Crashing cymbals, disorienting noise, spaced-out psych and gargantuan riffs bring the heavy but Hawkeyes can also temper their might and coast through the cosmos simply letting the solar winds do the work.
Poison Slows You Down is captivating at times, others empowering. But at all times is it absorbing. The product of strained amps and dedicated players it penetrates the listener and takes them on a journey. The poison may slow you down but you’ll get there in the end. And that just means you’ll enjoy it that much longer. Heavy psych doesn’t get much better than this.
Released on vinyl by Helmet Lady Records.
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