Produced By: Hawking
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Formerly known as Tommy Alto, Hawking is a Canadian Indie rock band featuring Tom Vanderkam providing lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Benji Klassen on vocals and lead guitar, Chartwell Kerr on vocals and drums and Chris Young on vocals and bass. The group independently released their first EP, Oceans \\ Carolina, in 2013. Shortly afterwards, returning home from touring, the band was involved in a tragic accident. Though no one was fatally injured, two of the members were unable to continue with the band (Paul Engels and Dan Besser).
Coming back from such a tragedy could not be easy, but the members of Hawking believe that the bond between them has gotten stronger as a result. On June 2014, they released a seven track EP named Atlas \\ Patterson. The music within has been described as math rock, a brand of indie rock in which guitars are heavily featured. This style of rock has no clear focal point and often starts and sops with no clear sense of rhythm. I think that's a good way to describe this album, but it doesn't go nearly deep enough.
I found Hawking's sound to be a blend of British punk and alternative rock that falls into the math rock format. There is no set theme to the songs and one will find a variety of emotions mixed in each track - despair, depression, loss, happiness, excitement, a look toward a better future and more. The lyrics and hooks are extremely catchy. The music found on Atlas // Patterson features awesome guitars and percussion and, though the lead vocals can sometimes be a tad shaky, when the music stops and the vocals continue, you realize just how well this group harmonizes with one another. It's rather striking.
There is not a single bad song on Atlas // Patterson. Fans of indie rock will love listening to what Hawking has to offer on this EP and I, for one, am interested in hearing much more from this band in the future.