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The Sound

Bringing the heat


Gypsyhawk plays Vaudeville Mews on Sunday, July 13.

Gypsyhawk plays Vaudeville Mews on Sunday, July 13.

Music can use a little more Kenny Powers. Powers, the main character from the television show “Eastbound and Down,” doesn’t mince words or spend a lot of time on nuance. As a former Major League pitcher, Powers believes in just one thing: bringing the heat. Let the college-educated pansies worry about finesse. Kenny Powers is here to blow it past you.

So if you’ve been looking for a little more Kenny Powers in your music, give Gypsyhawk a listen. Harkening back to the era of no-nonsense classic ‘70s power rock, Gypsyhawk hits you with blistering riffs and and blue-collar grooves that will make you start looking for your Thin Lizzy T-shirts.

“We don’t really hold, like, meanings in a lot of songs,” said frontman Eric Harris. “Other artists can be poets about that shit. They can be like, ‘This is a very important song in a certain point of my life’ or whatever. It’s just a rad song that we all put together and wrote.”

It’s that unpretentious approach to rocking your goddamn face off that makes Gypsyhawk so appealing. Most of the band’s members have heavy metal backgrounds, and they’ve all become disenchanted with all the posturing. So Gypsyhawk was forged out of the desire for no-frills rock ‘n’ roll. The kind your dad listened to while washing his Camaro out on the front lawn. The kind your uncles used to roll joints to in the garage.

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“Playing metal, I saw the whole kind of metal resurgence come back,” Harris said. “I was like, ‘OK. Cool.’ I’m not really into that anymore. It’s just like over-saturated. With cartoons like Metalocalypse, it just seems like metal is just a novelty thing these days.

“So I wanted to take it back to the stuff that influenced metal bands and (what) I would have been listening to,” he continued. “Bands like Deep Purple. We just wanted to bring it back to the music. Instead of being like an elitist sub-genre thing, let’s bring it to the masses and let everybody have fun with it.”

In that last regard, the band most definitely succeeds. To attend a Gypsyhawk show is to love a Gypsyhawk show. They’re not going to bog you down with a lot of subtext or or ask you to think to hard about what kind of fun you’re having. A Gypsyhawk show is all about cracking open a beer, standing close to the speakers, and letting those guitar riffs slap you back to 1979.

It’s always easier to have fun with a band’s music when it’s clear the band itself isn’t taking things too seriously. And Gypsyhawk is about as far from the over-earnest, indie-cred, hipster set as you’re likely to get. These guys are just your run-of-the-mill, old-school grinders. Even after signing a record deal with Metal Blade Records (home of The Black Dahlia Murder and GWAR), these guys still expect to earn their keep. They know that nothing worthwhile just gets handed to you.

“No, not at all,” Harris agreed. “We are still the same fucking scumbag shitheads we’ve always been. We have no pie-in-the-sky dreams about like: ‘Oh, we’ve got a fucking label now, [girls] are going to suck our dicks, and we can play wherever we want.’ It is not like that at all. We’re all still broke, we are all still touring in a van, and we are also playing music that we want to hear, because that’s what drives us.” CV

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