Review: Son of Hawk self-titled debut album

Great news rock fans! Son of Hawk have released their self-titled debut album! The album features 12 tacks of no nonsense groove rock and features special guest appearances from some of South Africa’s rock royalty like Albert Frost, Andre Kriel (The Black Cat Bones), Jaco Mans (Tidal Waves, Die See) and William Bishop (Fuzigish, The Slashdogs).

Son of Hawk was founded in the surfing paradise of Jeffrey’s Bay (in the Eastern Cape) on the 1st of August 2017 by established musicians from all over South Africa. Heine van der Walt (from Pretoria) is on guitar and vocals, Ashley Hilton Jacobs (from Cape Town) is on bass, and Jeffrey’s bay local Nathan Combrinck is on the drums.

Son of Hawk

Four days after their conception this unstoppable force played their first show and 3 weeks later went on their first national tour. They have been on the road ever since. Their never-ending journey has seen them make a lot of friends and fans along the way, supporting top SA acts at well-established and reputable venues, recording in several studios, hitting the big stages, never once slowing down.

Touring is their livelihood and the stories created resemble something out of a novel from Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thompson. Their adventures eventually led them to record their debut album with Chris van der Walt in Midrand.

They pack a mean punch for a power trio, and their style could be described as a mix between hard rock, swamp boogie, modern blues, ska, and the odd metal groove. The album subject matter deals with random topics ranging from party anthems, voodoo women, travelers’ tales, breakups, hook-ups, and the afterlife.

Son of Hawk Logo

When asked about their goals and ambitions, Heine replied: “We’re very serious about not being too serious. Obviously, we take the musicianship seriously and perform and play with everything we’ve got -pouring our heart and soul into every note- but at the same time we take great pride in getting the party started and making people lose their damn minds, as much as we lose our own”

The band’s album had some rad reviews:

“Son of Hawk’s self-titled, self-released debut is a visceral blast of hard rock, with the riffs of Rage Against the Machine, the energy of Clutch and the raucousness of the Dropkick Murphys. Here are twelve songs whose charms are obvious from the get-go.”  Ghost Cult Magazine

“Their energy and charisma is unfathomable – you can tell just by listening to this album how much these three love performing, and that translates through brilliance on both instrumental and vocal fronts.” Overdrive Magazine

Here’s my review of the Son of Hawk debut album:

The album has a pleasant retro rock sound, loads of guitars and effects. And even though Heine’s voice sometimes lacks fine control, I’m impressed with his vocals. I heard influences from Rage against the Machine, The Doors, The Black Cat Bones, etc. That is not bad company to be in. Technically, it’s tight, well executed and it sounds dirty in the way that it should.

A surprise was the trumpet on ska-punk song “Motorway”. I also loved “Closure” (which starts as a sweet love ballad and then hits you with a full wall of guitar sound) But I think my favorite track of this album is going to be “Day Dream” – it’s got an epic chorus that sticks – and having two guitar solos in a song helps too.

I guess it’s time to check Son of Hawk out again, I’m looking forward to it. They are playing at Oppikoppi 24 Nomakanjani next weekend, so if you’re going, make sure that you don’t miss them. The album is available now on BandCamp, YouTube and SoundCloud . CD’s are available via Burning Groove and at their shows!

Watch this space for updates in the Music category.

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Peter Toussaint

Musician. Music Critic. Born and bred in Holland, but living in South Africa

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