≡ Menu



Los Angeles is a desert, both geographically and culturally, but those of us who pay rent here occasionally find an oasis in the Capital of Crap. I See Hawks In L.A. blew on the scene like a hot Santa Ana with their debut album in 2001. They blend country and psychedelia with soaring three-part harmonies that leave the poseurs of alt-schmaltz dust choked. Lead singer Rob Waller and lead guitarist Paul Lacques co-write most of the songs, smart and wry tone poems about mayhem and mortality and sing-a-long anthems that hoist the freak flag high.

The quartet’s third album California Country is rife with rage over the triumph of vultures. In songs like “Hard Times (Are Here Again),” and “Byrd From West Virginia” (an ode to Senator Robert Byrd), they celebrate the power of free-thinking – an authentic American value currently underutilized. “Slash From Guns N’ Roses” is the true farce about an imposter who passed himself off as the title character – a not-uncommon phenom in this celebrity-infested rathole. “Barrier Reef” is the group’s latest grand cannabis epic: “The power of the leaf/Is the barrier reef/To my sanity.”

These guys are the house band for a revolution that isn’t over yet. Some of us are growing marijuana, some of us are psychedelic country rockers, and – as the Hawks suggest in “Raised By Hippies” – some of us are being born. On that rare smog-less day, you can see us flying over the L.A. basin, proud and free.

— Michael Simmons, High Times