SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #2.
Welcome another edition of SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEWS. Our intention is simple. Seek out crusty records with ridiculous cover artwork, listen, reflect. We’re looking for bodacious looking albums that capture the true power and spirit of heavy metal but sadly only 37 people in the world have ever heard. With millions of bands and billions of albums floating across the earth, all we have is one requirement. The album artwork must be nasty, primitive and savage. Artwork that easily could’ve been drawn by that delinquent Randy from shop class, your best friend’s scary older brother or the mustached stranger working at the carnival’s airbrush booth. Artwork that explodes off the shelf, excites your inner-dream child and demands that you bring it home. That same knee-jerk “cool cover…I need this” reaction you had as a kid while browsing aisles at the record shop or video store.
You know the ones. Bulging muscles, nude ladies, demons, witches, executioners, barbarians, reapers, sledgehammers, axes, swords, blood, rock boulders, neon animals, raging beasts, loin cloths, prostitutes, molten steel, lightning, villagers, snakes, rats, power glow, Italian sports cars and foggy darkness……perfectly portrayed in all their airbrushed and colored pencil glory.
We hope to uncover some gems, but realistically some of them will be turds and that’s OK. The goal is to showcase these obscure albums for what they are.
So join TNUC in scraping the $1 bargain bins, garage sales, abandoned high school lockers and Uncle Rick’s smokey basement in search for cheaply drawn, savage metal power.
SAVAGE NOMAD ALBUM REVIEW #2:
HAWK – SELF-TITLED (1985)
There’s a reoccurring dream I have where I’m a ripped, intergalactic, post-apocalyptic Native American warrior walking around casually in outer space. All I have with me is a couple pet hawks and a sacred tribal weapon. I’m wearing purple gloves and futuristic knee-high boots. While my actual gender is questionable by some, most don’t care because they’re too impressed by my insane mane. Wait a minute, the artwork to Hawk’s self-titled masterpiece is precisely that dream.
Word on the street is that people like to bitch and moan about this album’s artwork. I don’t understand this thought process. Not only does it fit the ‘Savage Nomad’ artwork criteria to a T but the native slayer reminds me of legendary b-movie nomad Mark Gregory (Thunder Warrior, 1990: The Bronx Warriors).
While I would’ve cherished a concept record about post-apocalyptic life in space, in no way am I complaining about the experience I had listening to HAWK’s powerful debut. This album is not the pure bonehead-rock album I anticipated it probably was. We begin with ‘Tell the Truth’, one of the catchiest crotch-thrusters I’ve heard in a long time. Easily the closest chance to a “hit” on this album. Turn this rad bastard up, light up a Winston and lock your bedroom door to drown the sound of your stepfather screaming from downstairs.
The band don’t hesitate switching gears into ballad territory for the track #2 ‘Fades so Fast’ which features the emotional ripper of a lyric “my guitar will take me far,´cause it´s my only friend”. With additional white-hot rockers like ‘Witches Burning’ and ‘The Dream’, this band definitely possess a Dio meets Dokken type of sound. It’s hard to believe this album didn’t reach to a higher status during its day but again, it’s a classic case of savage nomads lost at sea. The production could match up with any of their heavy metal peers on the scene and we’re about to find out why…
Now here’s where things get interesting. HAWK was the brainchild of Doug Marks, the founder and owner of Metal Method, the famous home video guitar lesson that started in 1982. Yes, that same Metal Method video that gave us the infamous scenes featuring Jim Gillette and Michael Angelo Batio. Marks relocated from Colorado to Los Angeles in the mid-eighties, put a band together and HAWK was birthed.
Drums on the album were performed by Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and at one time Scott Travis (Judas Priest, Racer X) also played drums in the band. Original vocalist David Fefolt performed with a feathered-covered mic stand and the rest of the band looked like a ugly pack of glammed-out hyenas. The band made the usual rounds of the LA rock scene at clubs like the The Roxy, Country Club and Gazzarri’s.
Die hard Hawk disciples still exist! Check out this one fan’s framed tribute to the band.
Thanks for reading and listening to our second Savage Nomad Album Review! Go find HAWK’s epic war-cry at your local record shop, on Discogs or on CD/digital through Doug Mark’s Metal Methods website.