Man, these guys have been kicking around for a while. I actually reviewed their self-titled debut on MeteorCity nearly seven years ago—at least, I thought it was their debut at the time. Turns out that Sunlight predates it by a year, but it was such a limited edition CDR release that next to nobody actually had a copy… until Ripple Music finally gives ‘er its first proper release later this month. And hey, I really dug the s/t—and their next one even more—so I would expect more of the same on this release.
Sunlight starts off on a not-so-sunny note, with “Executioner” offering up a gloomy slice of crunchy, driving, downtempo rock, complete with soaring, Sabbathian vocals. “Land of the Lost” picks up the pace to more of a Fu Manchu groove, clocking in at a compact 3:38. The title track is slower and heavier, giving off a bit of Kyuss vibe, although the vocals still sound like Ozzy.
“Going Down” has a much more mellow vibe, a warm, swirling riff above a steady beat, landing somewhere between Phil Collins and Dire Straits. An unexpected interlude, to be sure—although it lasts nearly five minutes. The six-minute “Grab a Hold” is chockful of 70’s rock grooves, while 12-minute rifforama “King of Order” ends the album on an epic note. Well, actually the song is only five minutes, but then they’ve got a hidden bluesy bonus track that kicks in at the 9:30 mark. Remember when bands did that?
The label lauds them as 70’s rock revivalists, but I’ve always seen Freedom Hawk as a slightly more southern take on the 90’s stoner scene. You can definitely hear why MeteorCity signed ‘em for the next one—I dunno if the original demo was this polished, but there is certainly no shortage of fuzzy riffs and grooves on here!