A Hawk and a Hacksaw – You Have Already Gone to The Other World

No, this record’s got its own inherent, slightly psychedelic power to it: this certainly seems to be the most complete LP in terms of outlook; (maybe the idea of basing the idea for the record round a film helped both concentrate minds and allow a new, unifying force into proceedings).

http://www.ahawkandahacksaw.net

A brilliant release but then when has this act disappointed? Somehow I can see this one becoming my favourite of theirs as there’s a really good, not to say inspired mix of traditional folk and really enjoyable new compositions – like the title track. The LP pays homage in part (via a lot of samples) to Sergei Parajanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which is a brilliant film and one which can leave the viewer absolutely bowled over by the images and plot. As an aside, if you like Balkan and Eastern European cinema I really do recommend it.

ANYWAY, back to what’s so good about this particular record… We’ve always been big fans of A Hawk and a Hacksaw, but You Have Already Gone to The Other World seems to have got some new found confidence down on tape, some new essence of the pair for all to hear. Somehow it doesn’t, (as a friends once eloquently put it about Heather Trost’s and Jeremy Barnes’ music), “sound like a bloody guidebook”. This is a record full of emotional pull: see if you fail to be moved by the incredibly beautiful take on Nyisd Ki Rózsám or Bury Me In The Clothes I Was Married in.

No, this record’s got its own inherent, slightly psychedelic power to it: this certainly seems to be the most complete LP in terms of outlook; (maybe the idea of basing the idea for the record round a film helped both concentrate minds and allow a new, unifying force into proceedings). And it’s certainly the least gauche of their back catalogue. It’s wild, slightly psyched out. It’s tough, physical and colourful. There’s nary a whiff of academe, and this is a good thing. It’s actually a record you can a drink to. Tracks like Witch’s Theme, and Where No Horse Neighs, And No Crow Flies are richer sounding and played with more abandon and physical power. Something of the film’s shape shifting abilities seems to have infused the recording process that’s for sure. This tough devil-may-care feel really unifies, and gives some clout to the LP. The Romanian stomps from the Bihor, (and their own Horses of Fire Rachenista, it must be said) are particularly good, foot to the floor hoe downs, rich in atmosphere and almost pig-headed in the intent of having a good time.

It’s superb, frankly. And I may get all bullish now, but anyone who quibbles with me about this record must be a bit of an academic dry wank. Class dismissed!