By Heath Fenton
VANCOUVER – Calgary’s Woodhawk have been honing an incredible dose of what the green leaf lovers dig so much of. Stoner rock is basically comprised of two sub genres. There is the slow doom-laden metallic attack with gruff vocals summoned from the bowels of bands like Pentagram and Black Sabbath. Then there is the smooth groove, hard riff and tasty lick approach spearheaded by bands like Kyuss and Fu Manchu. Woodhawk fall into the latter.
“We’re not stoners so we just kinda coast under the rock label,” singer/guitarist Turner Midzain admits. “If we get thrown in with a genre that is growing and popular, we’re ok with that. We definitely didn’t set out with that intent. We’re all craft beer fans, but beer rock doesn’t really have the same ring.”
The band dropped a new record in the spring entitled Beyond The Sun. Weed smokers or not, they have got this thing down. Midzain with bassist Mike Badmington and drummer Kevin Nelson have created a true opus that is fine in form. From the kick off title track, it is apparent that these Calgary cowboys know how to take you on a trip and roll with it. Crooning vocals of fantastical nature combined with jaw dropping guitar work and boot swinging drums is their way to do things. They do it with prowess and authority.
“Stoner rock really is a large genre. It’s all just blues based music in a lower tuning with a little more attitude behind it. I love the stoner rock genre.” Midzain continues: “It has definitely become the ‘it’ thing to be now. Maybe that’s because before it got popular, all these stoner rock fans had no idea how many people loved the same kind of music as them. It’s a very friendly genre. Most people are just stoned, so they’re very easy going and just connect with the music.”
Beyond The Sun was actually birthed in Vancouver at Rain City Recorders with local legend Jesse Gander at the helm. Working in Vancouver suited these beer bandits just fine.
“Rain City Recorders is located right around all these amazing breweries. So every day, we’d set out to walk to as many as we could. We still didn’t hit them all,” states Midzain. “Mike and I are avid homebrewers. We’ve been brewing beer for a few years now and love it. We even have band beer on tap in the jam room.”
So there you have it. Stoner rock? Beer rock? Party rock? Whatever, just get off your ass and fill your bong up with beer instead of water and witness the good times that Woodhawk tend to bring wherever they go.
Woodhawk play the Astoria in Vancouver on September 16 with Bort and guests.Astoria, Beyond the Sun, rain city recordings, stoner rock, Woodhawk