Awek - Awek (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Awek (2002)

New Amsterdam

This EP is a breath of fresh air in today's music scene - with so many genre-bending bands putting out line-crossing releases, it's nice to sit back and listen to a straight up jazzy indie rock band. Awek is just that band.

There's nothing overtly special about this Brooklyn quartet at first glance - the 5 songs contained on this, their debut EP follow the basic indie rock playbook. The first few, "Is This Easy?" and "Guess Whose Birthday's Coming" are more on the slower side, with sparsely played chords and singer Paul taking some vocal embellishments on the latter.

The band kicks it up a notch for "Phototype," a really catchy, fast paced song that's over in just over a minute thirty. It reminds me of Mineral's early work. The tempo slows down again for "Say Goodbye," which has a bit of a Modest Mouse groove to it - you feel like the drummer is going to slide behind the beat, because he's always just a fraction of a second too close to doing such a thing. It's a very laid back, cool feel that definitely rocks out at points with frantically strummed guitar and a simplistic guitar solo.

The all-too-short EP [seriously - 5 songs in 12 minutes? the Queers don't even play that fast!] comes to a close with "Annie Hardly Listens Now." This song again goes back into a faster groove for the band, and again draws a bit of a Modest Mouse comparison, or just the northwest indie rock sound in general [Death Cab For Cutie, Sebadoh, Built To Spill, etc.]. The dueling guitars are subtle but well done, and the lyrics are heartfelt without getting cliche.

This is definitely an impressive first release for a virtually unknown band - hopefully they won't fade away too quickly like so many others seem to do. Awek's debut EP will make you believe that indie rock is alive and well in the new millennium.

Say Goodbye

Say Goodbye