Omega Tones delivers an updated take on psychedelic rock with the wild and wonderful “Hawk Drive”. Everything about the album embraces a delightfully acid fried spirit, from the dreamlike-mantra of the vocals to the surreal guitar riffs that soar up into the infinite. The densely packed album contains multitudes, with the many layers resulting in a vast sea of sound. A whole plethora of approaches ensues, from scattered electronics to hard-driving riffs and everything else in between. Within these incredibly ornate arrangements are infectious hooks that help to center them. Impeccable melodies help to further ground the works as they nicely flow from each other. Stylistically they bring together elements of krautrock, indie rock, and pop framed with a psychedelic flair.
References abound throughout the entirety of the album. Touching upon the Flaming Lips’ penchant for experimentation within a pop context, these pieces possess so much warmth. Going even further afield they bring in a bit of Mercury Rev’s magnum opus, their sprawling “Yerself is Steam”. Omega Tones allows these influences to filter into their overall sound while maintaining their own unique spirit. A giant approach means that the album works best when the listener surrenders to the music’s whims, for they forgo a straightforward take for something much more intriguing. Various twists and turns within the album help its clever, well-thought-out narrative to take form, one that brings together the real with the imagined to create something truly special.
A motorik funk opens the album up on the driving pulse of “Now It’s Cold”. “Peeking in the Keyhole” loosens things up a bit while the grooves hold steady. The group possesses great interplay and the rhythm section absolutely kills it. With an updated blues comes the spaced-out defiance of “Cold-Hearted Haters”. Vocals swim through the din and themselves are subjected to great dollops of distortion, for their energy is infectious. On “All I Can See” they show off their storytelling abilities as the song deftly balances between folk and rock in a satisfying hybrid. Energy pours out of the freewheeling “Over My Head”.
“Baby Bullet Tambourine” features some wonderful wah-wah guitar effects, giving it a summery, surf rock flavor. Easily the highlight comes from the Boredoms-referencing loopy riffs of “Change (Don’t Drown)”. Lyrics have a strong sense of purpose as the song has a dazed quality to it. Percussion gains a tactile quality with the spacious and insightful “Torn in America”. A bit of hope graces the defiance of “Lift Yourself Up” where they have a !!! like strut fully in place. “Heaven Knows” nicely brings the album to a close on a reflective note.
“Hawk Dive” shows off the undeniable charm and chops of Omega Tones in sculpting an aural universe that feels warm, welcoming and alive.