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The Nighthawk Experience - Album Review: Current Lies

14 May 2020 // A review by tomashman
The Nighthawk Experience’s latest EP Current Lies is a 5-track roundhouse kick of alt-rock mayhem. The EP and accompanying animated material is the latest output from Auckland multi-instrumentalist and singer songwriter Scott McDonald-Bull. Scott is no stranger to the NZ music scene having played and toured as a guitarist in many bands over the years.

Current Lies
opens with an ominous wind blowing, signalling the entry of the ambient, jangling first track Prologue. It is a short but sweet guitar driven instrumental that eases us into the main body of the EP. Underscoring the more full bodied bite of the other four tracks.

The title track Current Lies starts out solemn and subdued but bursts into a wall of guitars, resolving the repeated line of the intro ‘take it in, breath it out’, into a glittering, triumphant chorus that sparkles with synth sounds and flying melodies. This is a song of wonder and enchantment, a perfect opening to the work of The Nighthawk Experience. The production is exceptionally clean and the instruments well recorded. It is interesting to hear a through-composed song, especially so near the beginning of the EP. Current Lies bucks the trend of the usual binary mode of verse/chorus song writing and instead builds throughout; a sweeping thread that twists and turns from start to finish.

Human Nature has the feel of a slightly more classic rock oriented song, the acoustic guitar of the opening being reminiscent of Led Zep style folk homage. However, the chorus lifts off to stratospheric heights. The range of vocals displayed here is impressive and the intermingling with the lead guitar line helps to build the sparkling soundscape. The largeness of sound on Human Nature stands out comparatively between the verses and the choruses. It is this contrast that keeps the track flowing. The drumming is also particularly strong, sometimes dropping out entirely then punching back in with great effect.

A stand out from the EP is fourth track Growing To Be Us. The percussion and bass keep a steady groove with the wistful and brooding verses. The chorus chords are pleasingly unpredictable and as in the other tracks from The Nighthawk Experience the choruses do their job exceptionally well, punching to higher highs and pushing the momentum of the song. What really makes Growing To Be Us special is the headlong plunge into the bridge. The particularly beautiful melody and anxious desperation of the vocal line hammer home the bitter-sweet sentiment of the track.

Lastly comes the climactic Whose Entitlement. There is a pleasingly anarchic feel to this riff driven behemoth, a schizophrenic collection of parts that masterfully shape into a well-rounded and coherent commentary on modern online discourse and opinion politics. Perhaps more of a return to Scott McDonald-Bull’s metal leanings, it is clear that he has a great command over this genre. The use of spoken word segments and chanted backing vocals lend a great deal to the entertainment value and overall narrative of the song.

The Current Lies EP delivers a varied and punchy blend of technicality, raw emotion and social commentary. All within a spectacularly produced and thoroughly well thought out concept. Hopefully this is the first of many more releases from The Nighthawk Experience. Keep a look out for Current Lies set to be available from the 22nd of May.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About The Nighthawk Experience

An animated musical journey delving deep. The journey officially begun on March 6th. The Nighthawk Experience (NHE) have two singles out Current Lies and Human Nature. The debut EP Current Lies is set to debut on May 22nd. Watch the episodes on YouTube and check the music on Spotify and Apple Music!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Nighthawk Experience


Current Lies
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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