Described as psychedelic country rockers this latest offering from the Los Angeles band draws a line in the sand back to the California country scene that pawned Buck Owens, Gram Parsons and Dwight Yoakam and more. However the music here is less rooted in Bakersfield and more in a cosmic consciousness. The key members here are founders Rob Waller, Paul Lacques, Paul Marshall and Shawn Nourse. Paul Lacques again also serves as the album's producer.
These four are joined by six other players including Anthony Lacques on drums for a couple of songs and Rick Shea on pedal steel. The ensemble delivers some warm, country styled songs that are easy going, easy to like and smile along with. There are songs about being on the road in We Could All Be In Laughlin Tonight through to a tale of a marriage tradition that is told in One Drop Human Blood. The western vista is considered on Sky Island while more earthly and mundane actions are outlined in the tell it like it is Stop Driving Like An Asshole.
The writing is shared by Rob Weller and Paul Lacques with Anthony Lacques, Paul Marshall, Robert Zierenberg and Victoria Jacobs. But the overall band sound is very much apparent throughout with a the three front men sharing vocals with harmonies abounding. They can also rock out when the song requires as they do on My Local Merchants a short sharp song praising the human contact found in the video store, the coffee shop and in buying a burrito. The album closer The River Knows is a seven minute plus tale of the course that the river of life may take when it flows black and slow using the pedal steel as undercurrent beneath the acoustic guitar and vocals.
I See Hawks In LA are a band in it for the long hall and their mix of humour and hope is appreciated by such luminaries as Dave Alvin. As they circle they know how to find the mystery drug and turn us on to its charm and to their appealing music.