LINCOLN HAWK - The One With The Strongest Heart…

Lincoln Hawk - The One With The Strongest Heart…

10 songs
50:45 minutes
***** ***
Granny

Bandpage

Two years after their debut EP, local stoner rockers Lincoln Hawk, taking their name from a character played by Sylvester Stallone in an Eighties movie, are back with their first longplayer, concisely titled The One With The Strongest Heart, A Conscience Of Innocence And No Hesitation Of Dying Will Leave This Battlefield Alive. For a band that started out as an instrumental power trio, this is quite an development in verbosity, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that this time Raph added vocal duties to his task list. Unlike in his early death metal days with DeadBoyDreaming, he sings more melodically although his voice sounds nicely whiskey drenches. His guitar matches this with fierce riffs that most of the time stay in saturated mid-tempo region. Jacques’ drums prevent any holes to emerge, while Rësch, otherwise known as one half of the acoustic guitar duo falc’{ER}o, stands out with his virtuoso bass playing.

A short, non-descript intro is followed by Baby Don’t Hurt Me, a perfect entry into the album. Not even three minutes long, this more upbeat song makes you instantly hungry for more. The following C By C, more than double the length of its predecessor, has a more subdued atmosphere, but Satelite (never mind the spelling mistake) once more has everything the demanding stoner fan needs: a fierce, hypnotic succession of guitar riffs, unpolished vocals and undeniable power. Our Great Depression is another crawling exercise in the art of sludge, while François Extern (how do these guys come up with these crazy titles?) puts the pedal to the metal again. Trailerpark is something like a semi-ballad with a beautiful melodic bass line. Lincoln Hawk go back to the roots with The Swansong, an instrumental which was already featured on the debut EP. Lois Lane is a quasi-instrumental as it works as the soundtrack for a poem recited by Jeff Hemmer from afurnishedsoul. The Outro offers two alternative versions of Satelite. On the first one, ubiquitous Italian hip hopper Cico (Uranami, Allella Boyz, Fruta Boys) takes over the microphone and transforms that track into something entirely new. The live version seems to be played by a band that didn’t have its best day though, but then the liner notes blame this on Lincoln Hawk’s beta fraction… whoever that may be. A few samples by Heintje in the outro help to lift the spirit.

After their somewhat lacklustre debut, Lincoln Hawk have managed to evolve from a not too ambitious side project into a fully-fledged band. The authentic production by Charles Stoltz and adding vocals have helped, but catchier songwriting and tighter playing may be the main reasons for this quantum leap in quality. Lincoln Hawk’s original approach that sees them venturing beyond stoner rock’s stylistic limitations make The One With The Strongest Heart… also interesting for fans outside their genre.

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