I See Hawks in LA

Posted February 7, 2008 in

Psychedelic country rockers I See Hawks in LA are perhaps the single most interesting phenomena resulting from the turn of the century Y2K paranoia, as the band’s embrace of a strange animistic, artistic principle coincided with that ludicrous spate of man-made panic. It all started about eight years ago, smack dab in the middle of nowhere: “We were out in the Mojave, on our way to Las Vegas,” founder-guitarist Paul Lacques says, “and we got kind of high out on this distant peak, and it got tribal, this animalistic running through the scrub ritual. It was a bonding thing. Then  we just started talking about the hawks in LA, and we’re all kind of eco-radicals, so that subtext is in the music. We’re all animals but we’ve hit our limit and forgotten we’re subject to all the laws of nature. The band is about trying to remain aware of nature while stuck in the city.” That bifurcated pathology is the source of not only idiosyncratic inspiration, but also much tension and conflict. Over the course of four albums, it’s produced some extraordinary observations  on contemporary life; some were too strong; their expanded consciousness marijuana farmer-themed “Humboldt” originally contained the line “Bush you can keep your 9-11/ I’m going off to stoner heaven.” The lyric was altered, Lacques explained, “because you could actually see the audience grimace when we sang it.” Fronted by the big-voiced singer Rob Waller, I See Hawks in LA may have committed the sin of self-censorship, but they can still dive out of the sun and sink their talons into your unsuspecting head with uniformly devastating effect. (Jonny Whiteside)

I See Hawks in LA, Voco at the Claremont Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Ave., Claremont, (909) 624-2928, Sunday, February 10. Doors at 7PM, $12



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