Review: Hawser – Shallow Earth

Shallow Earth Album cover

Our close friends in Hawser have their first record out. The 10” Shallow Earth is the result of hard work and a DIY mentality, which is something other bands should take an example of these days. The recording was done by Duct Tape Studios in Rotterdam. Since the start of the band they played dozens of shows, and after touring Europe last summer the need for a physical more desirable than ever. And so here it is.

The record consists out of six tracks, and the total playing time is just over 10 minutes. The artwork looks solid and is accompanied by some great looking merchandise as well. The package delivered to my door looks very promising to say the least.

Drummer Oskar van Ham sets the pace for first song ‘Slithering’. No warming-up, immediately a fast start. After 55 seconds it switches from fast to dark and heavy. Guaranteed head smashing action at the climax of this song. ‘To Dust’ is one of the best songs on this record. It has those ‘Hawser-typical’ two-step parts. But even more striking are the lyrics on this track. Vocalist Stijn van ‘t Land tried to stay positive in some songs last year, but now he seem to be much colder and lost all hope:

Often contemplating whether to end this all, I’ll stuff a bullet up my own fucking skull”

Third track is an interlude: it’s slow and reminds me of Brutality Will Prevail. I’m no fan of interludes, especially not on a six-track record. But this one actually works pretty well because it gives you moment to breath, before ‘Now I Am Become Death’ kicks in out of nowhere. It makes sure you’re on the edge of your seat once again. Recently the band released a video for the title track. It sounds like Trash Talk, but with an own original twist. After the first 10 seconds it switches from ultra high paced to some two-step action.

Title track ‘Shallow Earth’ is the best song on the record. For the first time we hear some backing vocals on a Hawser track, provided by bass player Ruben Middelweerd. This is definitely one of the elements that show the progress this band is making. They aren’t afraid of trying new things and in this case it works out very well. Last song ‘Emmanuel’ is a quite slow song, which dies in guitar feedback and rounds up the EP in a sweet way.

This first record is something the guys can be proud of. It’s the Hawser we know, but it also represents the growth of the band. For the best possible experience you shouldn’t play this record on your computer. Get the vinyl, and you will understand what I mean. You can pick up a copy over here. The download is for sale at their bandcamp and can be found in the iTunes store over here.

Track list – Shallow Earth

  1. Slithering
  2. To Dust
  3. Interlude
  4. Now I Am Become Death
  5. Shallow Earth
  6. Emmanuel

Hawser: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp / Big Cartel

Written by Gijs Duijzer

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