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Album Review

Low Flying Hawks – “Genkaku” [Album Review]

Genkaku is the second full-length by duo Low Flying Hawks, and it’s a brilliant followup for a band that is already turning heads with its grim take on an already grim genre.



Genkaku begins with a post-rock sludge fest, reminiscent of Red Sparrowes, turning the listener’s ear with a full frontal dive into ennui and ill-fated feeling. As opener “Smile” progresses, the song opens up with a broader assault on the senses, providing a preview of the sounds to come with a nod towards early Melvins (which makes sense, given its membership), while maintaining a unique take on sludge.

As the album progresses, there is a feeling of tragedy that pervades, warping and twisting every sound to give it a particular flavour of heavy. It’s able to brood without falling victim to the usual trope of assumed darkness or put upon heaviness, finding its handhold in places that resonate internally. Riffs are punishing, but also reflective. It’s a mirror in a forest under a night sky: the listener is invited to delve into something bleak and destructive, but if there is any humanity that reflects, it is whatever light comes from the listener themselves.

All this is to say that you could lose yourself in this album, you could fall victim to it, it will not hold its hand for you, it will not provide much solid ground. However, should you sink into the soundscape, it will gladly swallow you whole and allow you to germinate. Whether that is a good thing is entirely up to you. So go ahead and play “Virgin Witch”, let yourself reflect, even if it’s only a background piece, it will swallow up the light in your presence, and ask you one question: are you afraid of the dark?

Genkaku Track Listing:

01. Smile
02. Uncool
03. Virgin Witch
04. Space Wizard
05. Hallucination
06. Twilight
07. Sinister Waves

Run Time: 45:15
Release Date: August 25, 2017

Stream the full Genkaku album as soon as you can.

Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.