Take a song and make it your own. Simply, put your twist on it; maybe that’s a restructure, a whole new vocal delivery, extending the composition, etc. Leave it up to Ontario’s Hawksley Workman to produce an exemplary model of what a cover can sound/look like. This time, Hawksley is putting his spin on the literary rocker Lou Reed’s “Dirty Boulevard” off the ‘New York’ LP.
2013 gave us more Hawksley Workman in guitar form. His new band, Mounties, an explosion of hard hitting rhythms, chugging, melodic guitar lines, and hooks a plenty has my interest piqued. And they’ve only formally released two songs –three with their “Merry Christmas Maybe”. Thrash Rock Legacy is what they’re calling their full length debut, and let’s cross our fingers it hits early in 2014. With “If This Dance Catches On” & “Headphones” as evidence, I might already have one of my favorite records for ’14 in ’13. Believe it….
Like I needed further confirmation. The much talked about Hawksley Workman, an Ontarian one man jam composing most all, continues to take me aback. Sometimes his sexed up glam meets fuzzy rock is where I feel he excels; but a stripped down ballad care of feathery keys and his moving, emotionally laced voice makes me weak at the knees. Yea, weak. Believe it.
My buckling knees asked him to stop. Hawksley continues to impress by showcasing his unique rendition of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. A cover originally appearing on the “Anger As Beauty” single as a b-side. Embarrassing as it is, a cover new to me — though it was released a decade ago. I mean, I can’t be up on everything.
All covers should be reinterpreted. Hawksley flips the script and places his cabaret, meets hypnotic sensual groove all over it…
I’m a faithful man. A solo artist continues to churn out formulaic perfection and then starts a new band, I’m in. A favorite artist exploring what he’s capable of when surrounding himself with like-minded folks makes me inevitably curious. Is it a 180 switch? Does that musician bring his formula to the new act and we experience unique nuances care of the other players? Whatever. Hawksley Workman concocts something, my ears demand it.
“If This Dance Catches On”, the 2nd single from Mounties, an act possibly turning into a 2013 Divine Fits, is up for consumption today via iTunes. It’s the “full version’; that means it’s full-fledged captivating Canadian cacophony…
I ordered this backpack for my daily excursions. When it’s available, I also want to order the Mounties record — an inevitably catchy, shake your body rock extravaganza from the triple threat: Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays, and Ryan Dahle. The trio has already entranced us with “Headphones”, a groovy rocker drawing you again and again to the repeat button. With “If This Dance Catches On”, they’re pounding away with a hip swinging rhythm and chugging guitar line as the boys harmonize about one of life’s greatest actions: dancing and strutting your future salmon dance.
If I were forming a band, I’d keep it local. Those members would be friends, ones who share my interests and overall love of a sound. They’d be invested in the music, a movement that only so many can understand. My ‘mates would surround themselves in aural pleasures. If the option presented itself, they wouldn’t turn off the soundtrack to their lives. Ever.
Take the Ontarioan Hawksley Workman, a man capable of creating sexed up glam, chamber pop, celestial hymns, or countless other wonders, Steve Bays from British Columbia’s Hot Hot Heat, and Ryan Dahley from Vancouver’s Limblifter to form Mounties. Fittingly, they’re Canadian. ‘Headphones’, with its driving guitar line, perfect pop pleasantries, and anthemic sing along, is the equivalent of a date with your favorite record: one where it’s you, a favorite piece of vinyl, and your headphones to take in the aural experience. Get lost in the sound…
Opening up for an act has its many advantages. Hey Rosetta!, the aforementioned sextet my Canadian virtuoso Hawksley Workman cheerleads for, preceded Bombay Bicycle Club on Monday evening. First, you’re playing to a sold-out crowd who more than likely came for the headliner. Bring everything you can and win over new listeners. Second, time is of the essence. Not necessarily a fault for not having the audience you deserve. With the clock ticking down, the act knows there are no songs to include in the set where people begin chatting about Mars, perusing their mother’s Facebook status, or seeing if anyone has visited their OK Cupid’s profile page in the last 25 minutes. Hey Rosetta! not only packed in a set consisting of “New Goodbye” and “Seeds”, amongst other impactful orchestrated movers, they also showcased what a finely tuned outfit can do with minimal time: Captivate a crowd and leave them wanting just one more.