It’s very rare that I will hear a band and instantly become dumbfounded by what I have heard. As someone who listens to a lot of different music across all genres it takes a lot to make me go ‘What the Fuck?’ nowadays. With that said when it does happen it still hits like a ton of bricks.
Enter Bitch Hawk, the spectacularly named band that once again reinforces what a fertile breeding ground Sweden is for out of the box music. Joy, their second album in less than a year is an album so skull crushingly relentless and bonkers playing the opening riff from it could probably be used as a fatality in a game of Mortal Kombat, it’s that killer.
It’s only when trying to describe the actual sound of the album and the band themselves that things become more difficult, as really they don’t belong to a typical genre, they are just a mash of a lot of things and that is a good thing. At their heart there are elements of Bay Area thrash when it was grimy and new before it became about suing Napster and filling out stadiums, this can be felt mostly on the opening track Good News which is the sound of a band who has just crawled out of the guitar clutching a bag of cocaine, a copy of Ride the Lightning and decided the two things are perfect inspiration to write a song.
This is a trend that runs throughout the album’s short but impactful running time. Just blasts of gnarly aggro noise and jugular shredding chaos. It seems apt that the album’s title comes across as somewhat ironic given it’s content. ‘Get Up You’re Fine’ and ‘Rikspsyk’ clock in at about 3 minutes combined and are quite a lethal combination that just take the listener’s head clean off.
Joy is an album that took me completely by surprise. A sonic battering ram that sounds like Mike Patton teaming up with The Dillinger Escape Plan to play old school thrash jams while they all simultaneously suffering mental breakdowns. This is of the most chaotic releases of the ùyear and if you like your punk and thrash unhinged and without rules then this is an album you cannot aford to miss.