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WOODHAWK - Violent Nature

Release date November 1/19 (Bandcamp)

Calgary’s Woodhawk return with their second full length album, Violent Nature. This Canadian trio, made up of Turner Midzain (vocals, guitar), Mike Badmington (bass) and drummer Kevin Nelson, refer to their band as playing riff-centric rock'n'roll and stoner rock. These descriptions accurately depict the music on this album.

Most of the songs on this nine track, 44-minute album have an acoustic part at the beginning or in the middle, with the bulk of the song sounding a lot to these ears like mid-paced 90s style grunge. Midzain’s vocals are full of heart-rending emotion and (for you old timers) are reminiscent of those of Budgie front man Burke Shelley.

The songs are competently written and performed, but generally are a little too samey for my liking. There is little that stands out from the rest, with a couple of exceptions such as “Old Silence” which has some interesting riffs, including some that trend towards early Black Sabbath. But generally this is hard rock that will probably find an audience on college radio stations. It has a heavy edge that readers of the Mighty Decibel will appreciate, but it remains accessible to the non-metal masses.

Other tracks of note are opener "Snake in the Grass" and "Weightless Light”. There are no bad songs on this album, but there are no great ones either. If stoner rock and grunge are your thing, then you may well like this album. I recognize that there is talent in this recording, but it simply isn’t my cup of tea.

(6.5)

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