Hawkline / Headacher - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Hawkline / Headacher

Split [7-inch] (2010)


This split features two bands active in the underground scene in Columbus, OH. Featuring a really cool recycled cardboard fold-over cover with screenprint graphics of the General and President Ulysses S. Grant surrounded by eagles, both bands evoke the '90s (in very different ways) and succeed in supporting each other through an interesting and engaging release.

Hawkline's side features a really long song and a really short song. The noodley guitar approach of the intro to "Till We Have Faces" brings to mind the lighter moments of On the Might of Princes and other basement emo bands of that era. However, the rest of the song and vocals are much more in the vein of '90s indie rock songwriters like Matthew Sweet or the Lemonheads. The second track features swirly flanged vocals over a light arpeggio guitar before kicking into a relaxed bluesy groove (with more flange) and ending quickly. Fans of the underground '90s indie scene should be pleased with Hawkline's tracks on this release.

Headacher's side features a much less accessible approach that brings to mind bands like Bluetip and the Jesus Lizard. In "O.J. Simpson Stabbed the Montauk Monster," the guitars riff constantly while the dual shouted vocals take the band's sound straight to a crowded and dark basement. The second track "Braille Whistle" (is that title offensive? I can't decide.) features a tension-building riff under the appropriate lyrics, "Wait, wait for it...," before busting into a grooving riff dominated by a cool busy bassline. The highlight of the song comes towards the end when the band splits apart with one guitar playing a riff from earlier in the song, while the rest of the band completely shifts gears into a heavy pull-off post-hardcore riff. This band is by no means easy listening, but the creativity is hard to deny.

I went to the release show for this record and it should be noted how cool of an event it was. Held in an art gallery, the show featured a vegan hot dog cart with hot dogs themed after the bands (the "Stomache-Acher" had just about every topping you can think of) and all-day cheap tattoos of an eagle from the cover art. It was a really fun event that transcended a typical show vibe and goes to show that you don't have to tour constantly or write pop songs to do something interesting or engaging with music, especially on a local level.