Hawks and Doves is Gared of the now defunct Planes Mistaken for Stars.
This statement alone leaves a lot of open questions; Planes' swan song, Mercy, just like the rest of their catalog, was a brilliant howl of despair. How would one guy from the band be able to meet the inevitable expectations set forth? Would any similar approach to style be an option, much less a good one? Would all the songs continue to revolve around women, booze and the police?
Well, the only evidence of a future was in a few demos posted on MySpace and this, an inordinately expensive, pressed-for-The-Fest 7". And right now it seems things could go either way.
When news of Hawks and Doves was first disseminating, I was genuinely excited; Planes' acoustic material such as "The Time It Took," "No Prize Fighter" and "Penitence" are remarkably good songs. Gared's voice lends itself well to break in fragile patterns off the steady nature of a lone guitar. However, the lone original on the song, "Hush Money" takes a full band approach to the tune. Absent Planes' full-band ability to take post-hardcore to a crushingly cathartic level, the absolute despair generally mustered in Gared's vocals is lost in a more standard rock song.
The Springsteen cover, "I'm on Fire," as a B-side is fine. I can't say I've listened to a lot of Springsteen in my time so I can't make many comparisons, other than those I've talked to, who have heard the original and don't mind this version. I would have preferred more new material as opposed to a cover as some sign of where Gared is planning on taking the act in the future.
Normally, I'd say that this is worth it simply for those involved, but for some reason No Idea is charging $6 for this, with Vinyl Collective upwards of $10 and in-store locally I've seen it for $9. I'd imagine this will get pressed again at some point, or re-released later down the road. I've got big hopes for this band, and I realize that there's probably nothing that will be able to eclipse the brilliance that was Planes Mistaken for Stars. As for now, I'll take this as a good little record to have a glass of whiskey to between throwing on Up in Them Guts again.