Release Date: Feb 15, 2011
Record label: L.M. Dupli-Cation
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Folk
Whilst researching A Hawk And A Hacksaw's newest offering, Cervantine, I came across this quote from Jim Jarmusch's 'Golden Rules' of movie making, posted on the comments section of another review: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.
There's something deliciously twisted about A Hawk and a Hacksaw. They subvert the music they love even as they celebrate it. The opening cut, "No Rest for the Wicked," is a prime example. From lowly beginnings somewhere in the Balkans it becomes a full-on Balkan brass band workout, before dropping into a curious minor-key section, then roaring back as if they were Taraf de Haïdouks.
Though so much of A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Balkan folk-inspired music is tied to a particular sound from a particular place, the passion they imbue into their performances seems to know no bounds. On Cervantine, their latest, Hacksaw principals Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost have expanded both their sound and their scope, expanding their sonic search further into southeastern Europe, making connections between what they've heard on their vast European travels and the sounds of their New Mexico home, transforming disparate (occasionally transcontinental) styles into something rich and rousing. Rooted as their music is to geography, the feelings A Hawk and a Hacksaw conjure on Cervantine are borderless.
Dreaming across time and space as the sounds of a Romanian gypsy LP wafted from the speakers of his Albuquerque home, Jeremy Barnes wondered how it would be to take his accordion and his curiosity on a trip to the music’s home. After metamorphosing from a former Neutral Milk Hotelier to the founder of his own outfit, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Barnes began the task of marrying dream to reality. Balkan-infused albums followed as Barnes and violinist Heather Trost took to the motorways and bridle paths of Europe, including the dreamt-of Romania, eventually settling in Hungary.