Alibi V.27 No.11 • March 15-21, 2018

Sonic Reducer

A Hawk And A Hacksaw Forest Bathing (LM Dupli-cation)

I know you probably get it. I’m a big fan and IRL acquaintance of the folks behind A Hawk and A Hacksaw. They’re for realz Burqueños, after all. But all that’s beside the point. The music on Forest Bathing is far beyond anything else listeners will encounter on a road to rocanrol redemption. It has an intricate, authentic sound threaded through a mysterious, microtonal, Eastern groove with circus-like inflections that begins with a piece aptly titled “Alexandria,” and rolls around majestically on “Night Sneaker” and “The Washing Bear.” You totally must listen forever, and over and over again, if possible, to grok the magic these two wield with such aplomb. It’s the bomb! A Hawk And A Hacksaw will debut their new work at the San Ysidro Church (5015 Corrales Rd., Corrales) on March 30, beginning at 7:30pm.
A commercial for A Hawk and A Hacksaw's new album Forest Bathing

K. Dutch Always Home (Self-released)

K.Dutch is a part of of Santa’s hip-hop scene. No, homies, he doesn’t live at the North Pole, but rap’s been heating up New Mexico’s capital city for a few years now—as if a thousand varieties of cover bands and VU emulators wasn’t enough—and K.Dutch is at the forefront. His debut album Always Home, reflects a keen interest in production standards, veering toward the now uber-popular R&B-soaked vocal style with optional autotune that currently dominates the American top 40. There’s plenty of decent pop on this record (Viz.: “Photograph”) as well as innovative compositions like “The Future.” Some great instrumental tactics—multi-instrumentalist Kevin Sennott certainly adds weight where needed—are employed to broaden the scope of things, but overall it sounds like a million and half other hip-hop albums available for download at this very minute. Always Home is dangerously derivative yet still somehow tasty tuneful.

Zealous Grooves Reason In Ruin (Third Eye Studio)

The new album by Zealous Grooves adopts a gritty, bluesy, rock-as-confessional feeling right from the beginning. “Without You” has some sneaky, arpeggiated guitar references framing a tune that seems to have a Beatles-like bridge and hook at its center. This syncopated string technique gets full attention as the work proceeds. Similarly, vocalist Shanahan Wood seems to grow more confident, even petulant, as the record proceeds through six tracks that could be mistaken for ordinary, old-school rocanrol if not for the bits and pieces that frame the work as solidly post-modern, like the jazz-meets-blues riffage on “Valeríe.” The only drawback about this awesome second album: the way the drums were mixed, overloud and probably compressed, was very distracting as I listened, looking for meaning under all that popping percussion.

Zealous Grooves: “Valerie”