Mark Hawkins
Grandpa's Guitars


4.5
superb

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
May 12th, 2011 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mark Hawkins does it again. In a most profound and beautiful way.

If you haven't figured it out by now, Mark Hawkins is a seriously talented guy. Not only that, but he keeps busy. While working on projects such as Soul Cycle and Robots Pulling Levers, Hawkins somehow found the time to channel his energy properly and create the piece that is Grandpa's Guitars. Quite frankly, it's a wonder.

While this album is mostly acoustic and without a vocalist in sight, it propels itself on a mixture of technicality and fun. The technicality comes honestly - Mark Hawkins has been showing off his chops for a little while, now, and is gaining a name in the metal underground as a masterful player and composer. Each song has a clear sense of direction and purpose and Mark seems to introduce or focus on a new concept with each track. For example, the acoustic element is at the forefront in songs like "Distant Playground," but takes the backseat to electronics in "Justify the Means."

Of course, technicality means that there's plenty of quick, accurate, and poignant movement about the fretboard. But that's not to say that Hawkins doesn't have restraint. So much of his virtuosity looms on the horizon of the musical portrait, rather than popping out at you like some 3D action thriller. There's a great amount of rhythm guitar work that went into this album and it makes each track flow seamlessly from beginning to end. Even just that quiet, sustained pluck of one note resonates in a huge way on Grandpa's Guitars.

In truth, everything translates very well onto the album. But one of the things that needs to be stressed is that, for an album centered around acoustics, there's a big focus not only on some of the sober and somber tone that can be created, but to some genuine fun that Hawkins engineers throughout. From tracks like "Juanita," "Spanish Fly," and "Soltando Deseo," its apparent that Mark's having a ball making this record. You'll even find some joyful bluegrass twang in songs like "Valkenvania Blues." Of course, that's not to say that those more somber elements aren't there - you'll find them scattered throughout in songs like "Inhabitants" and "Dream Protection," which, while different, are just as great as the more "fun" tracks.

With his knack for song structure, sheer talent at his instrument, and pure sense of style, Mark Hawkins has made Grandpa's Guitars a must-own for any fan of progressive instrumental music. Rest assured, you will be missing out if you don't give this album at least a try.



Recent reviews by this author
Damascus When Last We MetLost Ubikyst in Apeiron Abstruse Imbeciles Nailed on Slavery
Devin Townsend Project Z2Thank You Scientist Maps of Non-Existent Places
Opeth Pale CommunionRx Bandits Gemini, Her Majesty
user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2011


2043 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Album is really excellent.

Check it out here: http://shredmark.bandcamp.com/

I'm eagerly awaiting Soul Cycle II, but this is equally great in its own way.

Digging: Damascus - When Last We Met

CaptWaffles
May 12th 2011


192 Comments


Sounds good, I'll give it a listen

bowlofsoup
May 12th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm really into this kind of stuff, so I'll probably love it. The review is really good, but the last sentence is a bit awkward to me

asdemonsburn
May 13th 2011


793 Comments


Assimilated Mind Phase is his best project by far

bowlofsoup
May 14th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a fan of soul cycle personally

invaderleo
May 19th 2011


2 Comments


lol

invaderleo
May 19th 2011


2 Comments


Incomplete information but good review. Too bad Mr.Hawkins or writer who didn't give credits to Vishal Singh(Amogh Symphony) and Luke Jaeger(Sleep Terror) for Soltando Deseo and Valkenvania Blues. She must know that Soltando Deseo was composed, arranged and guest lead performed by Vishal. Luke Jaeger also collaborated his guitar solos in Soltando and Valkenvania. Well now you all know. Please spread the word. Both Vishal and Luke are legendary guitar players and shouldn't be treated this way. This is not good imo.

Leonardo

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2011


2043 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I don't feel that namedropping like that would've made this review any better. The information is out there if you want it, obviously, since you found it. Not to mention that contributing artists' names are credited next to the song titles.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy