Review: Such Hawks, Such Hounds – Documentary
Written by Ian Gerber for The Soda Shop
It seems that the days of of the conversations that start off with A.) “I like “Stoner Rock” Q.) What’s that” or Q.) “Like the Grateful Dead?” are coming closer to their demise. At least amongst musicians and the hip heavy music loving college students, where these conversations originate. More and more the question to this answer is “Like Sleep?” Thank you, Wikipedia.
Fans rejoice! We now have a documentary we can point to as a good guidline for any newbie wanting to get their fuzz on. This is also beneficial if you want to avoid that awkward conversation where people automatically assume you are a burnout. Such Hawks Such Hounds does a rather right on job at compiling a distinctive group of stoner rock’s upper echelon to discuss what sounds, equipment, philosophies, influences and early underground pioneers are the bread and butter of stoner rock. They even debunk the “unfortunate moniker” that we have grown to adopt as community of fans. If the shoe fits, I guess.
While just about any piece of journalistic research and reference will leave out someone’s favorite band, Such Hawks Such Hounds does a great job of giving credit to whom credit is deserved by letting the guys who were actually there tell it how it was without the middle man of a reporter to distort the facts. Even if you aren’t particularly into watching musicians, journalists, and producers talk about awesome music, I can guarantee that there hasn’t been a more awesome soundtrack to a documentary in the last few years to drag you through the drudgery of electic distortion worship. While I feel that this film is designed around the idea of giving credibilty to some of the more recent heavy psychedelic rock music underground heroes, it does a great job of letting the first wave of bands that bowed at the smoking altar of Black Sabbath get their stories out.
The quintesential moment is when Wino defines the entire stoner rock dynamic lexicon with two notes played on an unplugged electric guitar. It is so good they had to show it twice. While being the most Spinal Tap moment of the movie, it truly relates how much emotional content is trying to be artistically expressed and explored within the deep and wide minimalist form of “The Riff” and how much talent it actually takes to be a true master of the craft.
Such Hawks Such Hounds can now be viewed in it’s entirety via Youtube. Avoid the “What? You don’t know?” response and watch this movie. You won’t be the rock snob that gets ensnared by the hard rock hipsters that fill rock clubs and bars lurking by the soundboard for unsuspecting victims to expel their Wikipedia prowess upon.