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I See Hawks In L.A.

I See Hawks In L.A.

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Album Review

I See Hawks in L.A. takes a slightly more cerebral approach to country music. This is not to say the genre is overrun with cavemen, but clipped onto the well-worn bootheels of this outfit is a spur of skewed wit, intelligence, and contemplation. The music itself is the very picture of congeniality — accomplished players strum languidly with reverence and grace, conjuring deep-seeded tradition rather than new country (aka, rock music from people in cowboy hats). There's a grass-roots essence running through the album, but the band sidesteps tradition in the lyrics with tracks like "Nicotine & Vitamin C," the lovely sunset lullaby of "The Beautiful Narcotic Place I Reside," and the saddle-shop quartet of "A Dog Can Break Your Heart Too." Furthermore, "The Mystery of Life" and "Duty to Our Pod" seem downright existentialist in their approach. The modest bari-twang vocals of Robert Rex Waller Jr. and the other contributing voices are all appropriately unpolished, and everything goes down as smooth as molasses. This self-titled debut album has too much grit and professionalism to be a novelty act, but I See Hawks in L.A. is, in fact, such a smart band that they practically alienate themselves from the genre they fit so well. Also, the fact that they received an award for Best Country Band in the city of Los Angeles only furthers the notion that the quintet is a little left of center. With a nod and a dry smirk, these boys are the best-kept secret in philosophical tongue-in-cheek Southern hospitality that California has to offer. Only you can decide how vital that is, but rest assured these boys can play.

Customer Reviews

If you think you don't like country, think again!

I mostly listen to rock/alternative, but discovered the pelasures of "classic country" somewhere in the mid nineties... it was such a departure from the pop-country acts that dominate today. In the crazy world of cross pollenization that is SoCal slips in the Hawks, whose sound channels the best of country's heyday while wrapping it around beautiful rock and roll... listen to "nicotine and Vitamin C" or "Duty to Our Pod" to see what I'm talking about. Musically and lyrically, this band is the real deal, more Burrito Brothers than Merle Haggard, but I'm sure the Hag would love this album.

Good alt-country

Heard these guys live on wncw.org and they were great! Smooth old country sound. Good harmonies. If you like real country(not pop-country), you should give I See Hawks In L.A. a listen.

These guys are awesome

Just saw them the other night playing with The Blasters. I dunno what kind of music this is--I know it's sounds like country, but the lyrics and the beats and the guitars come from outer space. Space Country, Alt-Country, Ex-Urb Sonice Goodness...call it what you will, but make sure to have a listen. Really good stuff.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

California-based I See Hawks in L.A. pursue a kind of cerebral, witty, and at times refreshingly silly alt-country path along the lines of earlier California country-rock bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, and the Byrds, following the template of what Gram Parsons once called "cosmic American music." Formed in 1999 by Robert Rex Waller, Jr. and brothers Paul Lacques and Anthony Lacques, at first I See Hawks in L.A. were strictly a loose recording outfit, but after their self-titled debut...
Full Bio