Friday, November 21, 2008

Muscle Hawk Show: "Amazing!"


Muscle Hawk is a steroid-infused electronic beast that strikes terror into the faint of heart. That said, their formal live debut at Urban Lounge on Nov. 20 went over like gangbusters. I hadn’t seen this many people for an opener—headliners Castor and Pollution released their debut. Check it out in a store near you—in recent memory.

And that is saying something for the fair-weather scenesters of the fair city of Salt Lake. Muscle Hawk, Josh Holyoak and Greg Bower, recently added scene-mainstay Lindsay Heath (aka Kid Madusa) as drummer to the project they’ve been collaborating on for the last few months. Their Urban Lounge performance bodes well for future gigs and the development of a solid fan base. Salt Lake City may not be ready for it though: they may be too good. It is very danceable music and everyone seemed too cool to get down. I have a good excuse—I’m not a good dancer. But there were some shakers not shaking, as Josh noted to me after the performance. That is too bad because it is very moving tune-smithing along the lines of Ratatat or Justice.

Muscle Hawk's men knew their way around a mass of electronic gadgets and brought up the energy levels, regardless, especially on the live version of “Cocaine,” which paid homage to its namesake by making at least a few folks jump. We were all a little hyped and looking for menthol cigarettes by the end of it due to live vocals in combination with Greg’s on-point synthesizer/computer execution. Josh’s bass playing (note his fuzzy strap next time, I hope he wears it again) was very funky and a great addition to Lindsay in the rhythm section. Check out the music and take note of “Fever.” Add them, too, while you’re there and check out their next show. And remember people, the gods gave you feet for a reason: to dance to Muscle Hawk (it’s in Psalms somewhere).

(Jon Paxton)

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. awesome review! dear jon, essscuuuuse me, i was dancing. which wasn't easy with everyone else standing around. furthermore, "not being a good dancer" is not a valid reason not to shake it. you know what they, "if you're not part of the solution..." next time maybe i won't be the lone awkward move buster out there because i'd appreciate the company. anyway... the hawk rocks. let's dance. peace.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well written, Jon. The show rocked my socks off! This is monumental! Who could have guessed? This Salt Lake City band is producing the best dance music since "Thriller" if you ask me! In fact, I don't think there has ever been a single local band with such great dance music, in the history of salt lake based music. My only hope is that Lindsay Heath can have her drums mic'ed next time. Not to downplay her super human hard hitting chops by any means. Her ability to make those drums sound so loud in such a big club - despite the lack of mic's blew me away. But the more I can hear of her, the more I have to dance. Literally, my bet is that if Lindsay's drums had been mic'ed, the beat would have sunk in and provoked involuntary dance convictions amongst the reserved crowd. They just need a slap in the face, and nobody can give it to them like Lindsay's out of this world drumming skills. Her drumming was as mind blowing as ever- in fact, she has actually (impossibly) improved after her countless math rock, avant-garde, metal projects. Though, I hear she is also currently drumming for Cache Tolman's ("Iceburn", "Rival Schools", etc) new project "Under The God", I heard a couple of those tracks- and her drumming kills me. I nominate Kid Madusa as the best female drummer ever to have come out of this city. Her talent far surpasses any of the notable local drummers in the Salt Lake music scene. "Muscle Hawk" is MADE by her presence in the band - they are lucky to have her. I really hope she continues "Kid Madusa" as well. All of her creations are powerful, and teamed up with the talent of Josh Holyoak and Greg Bower- she is sure to change the world. What an amazing combination they would make in performing her compositions as well. I am extremely impressed- can't wait for the ice to melt the heart of the Salt Lake scene, so they will stop stubbornly fighting the best reason to dance since "Vile Blue Shades". Because truthfully, "Muscle Hawk" is much more inspiring in that arena than "Vile Blue Shades" as far as undeniable dance inspiration. People have just been convinced that "Vile Blue Shades" are "cool" to dance to. But every minute of "Muscle Hawk" is made for dancing. Everyone who attended the show was mesmerized. Long live "Muscle Hawk"! Can't wait for the next show!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's not a contest between bands. In this state of things, as it is right now, with the lack of good dance music, the Vile Blue Shades are great for keeping people dancing when there is a lack of good music to dance to. Muscle Hawk is new and it's cool and all, but it's not fair to compare or even downplay the Blue Shades when they have done a wonderful job at keeping the dance spirit alive. Not to mention that comparing those two bands is a little ridiculous anyway, since their style are completely different. So please remember... It's not a football contest, it's music, and thank god that we have these local musicians that want to make music for people to dance to.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i agree, it's not a contest between bands. i am stoked that salt lake has been graced by the presence of both bands and the talented musicians within each! the more dancing to go around the better. there is no doubt i love lindsay's drumming! i would also like to see josh and greg's sampling and keyboards played up a bit more. i don't know if the amplifiers on-hand truly captured the mind blowing mix they were cranking out. maybe i'm just greedy, but i want more!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I sadly missed out on this show, but the tracks on MySpace got me excited beyond belief. I'll admit it, got me dancing. When was the last time we had a group of rockers making tracks like this? And this is only a sample of what's to come! I already want the album, and I don't say that often.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am happy that my slc homies notified me about this show. I have been out of the utah music scene since I moved to L.A. a few years ago. So I was shocked when I heard real original dance music played live at urban lounge on a thursday night. I hope muscle hawk will be recognized by s.l. for how great they are. It is rare to see such talent in a place like slc. I agree with comments tho[ its not a contest. and the irony is that Lindsay Heath was IN the vile blue shades. Right before I moved I went to see her drum for a few vile blue shades shows. She helped write and was in some recordings also. I do not think she is trying to compete. and I agree the bands are not comparable. other than they will make an amazing duo on a weekend show at urban. two good local bands playing music to dance to! i would fly back here for that! it is true tho i came to the show for friends who told me lindsay was going to drum. i have been her fan for years. she doesn't know me tho! hope i dont seem creepy! sorry i just think she is my fav drummer. i was impressed by the rest of the band too. crazy skills. the sound of the recording on myspace is so good. but it sounds very different without Lindsays drums. i wonder will Lindsays drums be put in the recordings? the songs sounded much bigger at urban. so you have to see them play live before they go to a place they will be appreciated better. Like L.A :)
    Yay Muscle hawk!1 -Chris Blake

    ReplyDelete
  8. josh is lame... :) love your favorite tee hee.

    ReplyDelete
  9. it was really good except for the gay singing.. by which I mean there wasn't enough of it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. if you had a half a mind you would realize its not really a singing act

    ReplyDelete
  11. I saw these guys at The W Lounge. They are really good.

    ReplyDelete
  12. they are playing tonight (december 29th) at the revolv magazine launch party at bar deluxe!!!

    ReplyDelete