A Hawk and a Hacksaw

Posted April 13, 2011 in
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You know those bands that you really like, but then you see them live, and your whole world is rocked sideways by every part about them? This happened to me. A Hawk and a Hacksaw have always kind of intrigued me with their Eastern European jams, but until now, I have not fully appreciated what they've got going on. Chaz Prymek, also known as Lake Mary, started off the show with an acoustic guitar and loop pedals, sounding similar to Howie Day's less pop-y stuff, but more serious, even, than that. Sitting cross-legged on the stage and slightly mumbly, I wasn't sure, at first, if he was even part of the show, and it seemed that the majority of the crowd was thinking the same. After about a song-and-a-half, the show-goers were more attentive to his presence, as well as the acute skill in his guitar playing. I didn't realize that A Hawk and a Hacksaw had such a dedicated following, but with the old drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel on accordion, it's sure to have piqued quite a few people's interest. It was easy to tell that everyone there was just as excited as me to see them play, 'cause they have such a different sound in the first place, but they are fucking awesome live. With accordion solos and psycho-violin shredding, it was almost like being at a metal show for indie rock kids. That's the only way I can describe it, but that doesn't give it justice. There is just super, super technical stuff going on, all the time. Watching Heather Trost play, who is classically trained on violin, was such a treat to see. The music they make is so unlike anything heard today in the States, but can sound like the Bowerbirds at times, while on a whole different playing field. A Hawk were on tour promoting their newest album, Cervantine, their best effort to date. There were so many sounds going on, with trumpet and drums and a lot of excitement. Trost sang during a couple of songs, with a cool, old world kind of feel that was well-received by every single audience member. The whole band was just as good live as they are on their album. Awesome show, great job.