Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Having already made a seismic impact on the scene, London quartet HAWXX having absolutely no respect for any walls or barriers in their way.
Mixing sledgehammer riffs and gorgeous harmonies, their unique sound has been like nothing else around and their live shows a truly visceral experience. With singles being drip fed to a hungry and ever growing fan base in the past two years, the release of this, their full length debut is long awaited and begs the question of whether it fulfils the weight of expectation? Happily, it does and in fact is more seismic than anyone could have expected.
A blistering salvo of ten crushing tracks, ‘Earth, Spit, Blood & Bone’ is a razor-sharp collection of barbed wire kisses, muscular riffs and eviscerating lyrics that mixes angular modern metal and punk. With so much resting on it, the quartet of singer/guitarist Anna ZP, guitarist Hannah Staphnill, bass player Julia B Cadau and drummer Jessica Dann aren’t just releasing an album but it feels they’re making a statement and building their legacy.
It’s a lot of pressure but the four are fighters and every bloodstained inch of their progress has been hard fought, their voices those of all who have been beaten and attacked for standing up for their rights.
It’s certainly an important album socially and one that the lyrical content is just as potent as the music but it’s also something that is a joy to listen to, the thrilling sound one that will make you smile as you smash up your room or plan a revolution.
From the urgent, raw and forceful opener ‘Death Makes Sisters of Us All’ it’s a rollercoaster ride that thrills with its every changing dynamics, the whole a stiletto held in silk glove.
Nothing is held back and with the blistering barrage of ‘The Worst Thing’ and the cathedral-filling noise of ‘Reckless’ coming on with a wrecking ball punch, the perfect vocal harmonies are a wonderful juxtaposition that bring some sugar into the spice.
Don’t be fooled though, there’s nothing whimsical or delicate here as Anna ZP knows how to lace every word with cyanide and her expressive voice is the perfect instrument to bring over the truth in the lyrics she sometimes purrs, sometimes spits.
Staphnill brings her own individual style too, her fretwork both angular, inventive and ferocious, Cadau and Dann providing a monstrous groove and great feel to their playing as they lay the bedrock on which this all stands.
If the band wanted to produce something that accurately reflects who they are then its been nailed on this and with the power of tracks like the sublime ‘Trust Your Rage’ and the boneshaking maelstrom of ‘If Not Now Then When’ it stands as a triumph. Intelligent, fierce, unrelenting and empowering, ‘Earth, Spit, Blood & Bone’ is an easy contender for album of the year. Make no mistake, HAWXX are changing the world.
1. Death Makes Sisters of Us All
2. The Worst Thing
4. Embrace the Ugly
5. Trust Your Rage
6. If Not Now Then When
9. Soulbreaking Machines
Anna Papadimitriou – vocals / giutars
Hannah Staphnill – guitars
Jessica Dann – drums
Julia B Cadau – bass