I’ve been hearing a bit of buzz about the Calgary fuzz-rock scene lately. Apparently, there’s a whole legion of bands now that musta grew up on Chron Goblin and the recently reunited Hypnopilot (a personal favorite from back in the day), so many that Cowtown is actually hosting a three-day stonerfest on 4/20 weekend. When the hell did this happen!?
Alas, it seems Woodhawk was not invited to the 4/20 party either, but they have opened for the likes of Elder, Truckfighters and The Shrine, which would be one helluva triple bill if they were playing on 4/20 (or otherwise)! This appears to be their debut album, although they do have at least one previous EP to their name.
The title track begins Beyond the Sun on a mellower note, sounding somewhat akin to the lighter fare found on a more recent Truckfighters record. That’s not to say there aren’t any heavy riffs here—things do get gradually heavier and fuzzier as they roll along. A pretty tasty riff kicks off “The High Priest,” and it sounds like they’ve got a bit of organ in the background as well. This track is also a little more up-tempo, injecting a bit of The Shrine’s skate-punk fury into the Swedish-style riffage. Seriously, if I didn’t know they were from Calgary, I wouldda thought these guys hailed from Malmo or something…
The heavy, boogie-rock riffs continue with “Living in the Sand,” which is more of a Texas-style groove a la Wo Fat or Mothership… except that they fall into that whole “mellow verse/heavy chorus” trap that the Truckfighters have been stuck in for the past few years. If they dialed it up to 11 for the full six minutes, this would be a pretty sweet tune! (To their credit, they do pick up the pace to a decent mid-paced stomp toward the end…)
When they do turn it on for a full three or four minutes, in the case of “Lawless” or “Quest for Clarity,” the results are satisfactory, if not spectacular. But this is a pretty damn good effort for an independent debut, dude!