"Mystery Drug," seventh CD for Southern California’s leading country-folk-rock band I See Hawks In L.A., returns to the surreal and fearless wordplay of their earlier releases, and gathers the stellar musicians that form the loose tribe of Hawks.
Original drummer and lyricist Anthony Lacques--who formed the band with brother/guitarist Paul Lacques and lead singer Rob Waller is back, with Shawn Nourse (Dwight Yoakam, James Intveld), cosmic pedal steelers Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Wanda Jackson) and Pete Grant (Grateful Dead, Rodney Crowell, The Dillards), psychedelic bass from Paul Marshall (Strawberry Alarm Clock, Hank Thompson) and big league harmonies and burning electric and slide guitar from the core Hawks crew.
'Mystery Drug’ is a brilliant album of psychedelicized country rock that mixes poignant social commentary, vivid storytelling with a stylistic sound uniquely their own while drawing on the numerous influences of the musicians.
Available on itunes and directly from the I See Hawks in LA website.
1 Oklahoma's Going Dry
2 Mystery Drug
3 Yesterday's Coffee
4 The Beauty Of The Better States
5 We Could All Be In Laughlin Tonight
6 One Drop Of Human Blood
7 Sky Island
8 If You Remind Me
9 Rock N Roll Cymbal From The Seventies
10 Tongues Of The Flame
11 Stop Driving Like An Asshole
12 My Local Merchants
13 The River Knows
1. Oklahoma’s Going Dry (4:38) Ballad of two old ghosts on horseback, a Comanche warrior and a settler, wandering a grassland worn out by too much farming. Sweet steel and biting Neil Youngish electric guitar.
2. Mystery Drug (2:38) Mysterious bittersweet folk lament on modern loneliness; we don’t treat each other right. Sparse acoustic guitars and rich harmonies.
3. Yesterday’s Coffee (3:50) Classic country broken heart ballad; she’s restless, off to Marfa, Texas, global center of hipsterdom. He’s waiting.
More sweet steel and harmonies.
4. The Beauty Of The Better States (3:43) Stomping shuffle with raging slide guitar, stream of consciousness lyrics about the gleaming surfaces of our modern vision and the muck lurking beneath. Open to interpretation.
5. We Could All Be In Laughlin Tonight (4:08) The Hawks cry in their beer at the casino bar out in the Nevada desert; it’s tough being an alt country band singing about whales and global warming.
6. One Drop Of Human Blood (4:20) Accordion laced ballad, true story of one of the Hawks’ wedding rituals in the East Mojave desert wilderness.
7. Sky Island (4:58) The true story of an Arizona activist, compadre of Edward Abbey, who broke her heart and spirit watching the Tucson area wilderness get paved and stuccoed. Rich and dreamy acoustic rock.
8. If You Remind Me (4:02) Another love ballad, true stories of romances in Reno and San Francisco, cosmic pedal steel from the legendary Pete Grant.
9. Rock N Roll Cymbal From The Seventies (3:28) Hey, it’s only a country rocker, whimsical tale of romance through the want ads, burning Keithesque electric guitar.
10. Tongue Of The Flame (2:12) A Celtic flavored 6/8, driving acoustic guitars, musings on our Irish ancestors and their voyages west to the land of TV.
11. Stop Driving Like An Asshole (1:34) A public service message from the Hawks, with a bit of doo wop vocals. You don’t have to be from L.A. to share the rage at clueless and suicidal drivers that menace the motorways. But it helps.
12. My Local Merchants (1:31) Cowpunk pop. On a cold dark night when I was questioning my sanity they cheered me with their market driven sweet conviviality I joked with the barista ‘bout the Starbucks macchiato gaffe the ticket taker tore my ticket with a hearty knowing laugh . . .
13. The River Knows (7:43) Long and ambling, like the lovely black river in County Down that inspired this gentle two beat, brushes on snare like rain and lyrical pedal steel and bluegrassy guitar, rich vocal harmonies.