"Hawk Nelson ... Is My Friend!" (BEC Recordings/Tooth & Nail; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

These guys are Christian rock; they also infuse pop punk and punk rock to give the corners more edge. I've seen these guys in concert and they energized everybody with their musical enthusiasm. If you like Switchfoot then Hawk Nelson will help to extend your musical library.

They sing about life but don't really preach about anything specific. The messages are all about getting up and not staying down even when life takes you to the valley. The vocals are great and you can sing along with all the tracks. The guitar is heavy when they rock and with solos that impress, you will find something to like about Hawk Nelson.

Songwriting credits go to Trevor McNevan (Thousand Foot Krutch), Richard Marx and Holly Knight, who has worked with Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Heart, Ozzy Osbourne, Otep and tons of other artists. The lyrics are thought provoking and not just amplified Bible campfire songs so don't think they just sing about surface issues.

The CD booklet is a paper board game; it shows that they can be goofy and still rock. This disc was produced by David Bendeth -- he's worked with Paramore and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

The friendliest cuts are: "You Have What I Need," "Friend Like That," "Turn It On," "Let's Dance," and "Words We Speak."

Hawk Nelson: Jason Dunn - lead vocals, piano; Daniel Biro - bass, backing vocals; Jonathan Steingard - guitar, backing vocals; Justin Benner - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.hawknelson.com and http://www.myspace.com/hawknelsononline.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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