Hawk Nelson is a brand new act from Tooth & Nail Records. Following in the footsteps of Christian pop-punk rock act FM Static and their mainstream counterparts Good Charlotte and Simple Plan, these four young guys hail from Ontario where they grew up together and offer a tight and diverse sound with often meaningful lyrics.
While Good Charlotte and Simple Plan pride themselves on being rebellious, Hawk Nelson's lyrical content tends to go past the bitterness the other bands portray and focus on love and truth. And while HN sings about girls almost as much as the mainstream acts, their focus is on good clean fun and not treating women as obsessions or, in Charlotte's case, a piece of "candy." In fact, "Every Little Thing" expresses the band's desire to find a woman in love with Jesus, something you won't find from the mainstream artists.
Hawk Nelson's debut record on T&N is co-produced by Thousand Foot Krutch/ FM Static frontman Trevor McNevan who even helped write on this project. As with everything he's apart of, he brings a lot of life and character to this record, even offering vocals on the TFK-ish "Like A Racecar," and gives Letters... a professional and experienced feel that not too many new artists possess on their debut. And while HN does dip into heavy comparison territory to already established pop-punk artists on songs like "California," "Things We Go Through," and the title track, it's tracks like "From Underneath," "36 Days," and the bold surrender of "Take Me" that really make this band stand out. From pop-punk, to pop-rock ballads to even a little hard rock, HN is versatile at many different styles, pulling off each nicely and proving they have what it takes to stick around awhile. It's also refreshing to hear the boys taking a bold stance on the moral decline of society with the title track "Letters To the President." While the mainstream acts are preaching rebellion against authority, Hawk Nelson is encouraging a change be made in the status of our country's ethics while remaining respectful of authority. It's great to hear a band stand up against same-sex marriages, school violence, and all the other problems today that people are too scared to speak out about.
If you're a fan of Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, All-American Rejects, and other mainstream acts in the pop-punk genre, you should check out Hawk Nelson and seriously consider tossing those other discs away. Letters To The President is a bold release full of fun and memorable anthems that make for one really great Summer release.- Review date: 07/10/04, written by John DiBiase
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