NO HAWAII - Snake My Charms

No Hawaii - Snake My Charms

9 songs
52:07 minutes
***** ****
Parallel / Black Star Foundation


Sweden is definitely not Hawaii, so no one can accuse this quintet of having chosen an inappropriate band name. Founded in 2003, they released their debut EP Bruce Lee In Your Brain in 2007, followed now by the first longplayer Snake My Charms, which starts with the seven and a half minute long A Lovely Breed, an epic monster full of different influences, making it hard to pinpoint them to a specific genre. Like many of their contemporary Scandinavian counterparts (Isis, Cult Of Luna,…), there is an undeniable touch of post metal at play, but No Hawaii sound much more colourful than the competition. There are hardcore elements, but most of all a progressive sensitivity which is seemingly in charge of this blistering style cocktail. Can you imagine a mix between Neurosis and The Mars Volta, with occasional post-Faith No More Mike Patton wizardry? I couldn’t before I listened to this album, but let me tell you: it works wonders!

No Hawaii have a fondness for long songs, with Tunnel also clocking in over seven minutes, and Radio Magellanes even crossing the ten minute border. These tracks are full of unexpected breaks, switching from blistering hardcore metal to playful progressive dabbling. This may not be overly accessible, but it’s extremely listenable, as the band takes care never to sound too over the top. Their shorter material is used to show off ideas that didn’t seem to fit their more regular songs. The untitled fourth track is a brooding instrumental synth track with underlying beat machine, the one minute long Technical Difficulties is a comic rock’n’roll experiment, but special mention goes to the concluding E=mc2 (Kaospilot), a six and a half minute long ambient ballad with an intriguing shoegaze mood. I wonder if this relaxed piece of music has anything to do with Norwegian chaos core kings Kaospilot. It would be a weird way to pay tribute.

In times where even the relatively new post metal genre shows signs of wear, it’s great to see that there are still bands around that are not only able to infuse new elements, but even make it sound like another step up the ladder. Those who are not scared to challenge their ears with new music will be rewarded by the sublime listening experience of Snake My Charms.

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