Heavy music is changing for the better. In recent years, we’ve seen bands from all parts of the metal spectrum break through, delivering unapologetic music that aims to shatter longstanding norms in our scene. Now Hawxx, who hail from the UK, Italy and Greece, join bands like Witch Fever, Petrol Girls, Svalbard, Shooting Daggers and Nova Twins, in creating a safe space for women and LGBTQIA+ fans and artists alike.
With its blend of stomping hard rock, towering choruses and acerbic groove metal, Earth, Spit, Blood And Bones gets the balance right between rage and anthemia. The band have said they want their music to be a driver for change, and opener Death Makes Sisters Of Us All hits like a kick to the gut. Written in the wake of the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, and the police violence at her candlelit London vigil, it churns over with acidic grief and fury, singer Anna Papadimitriou howling, ‘I wanna burn this city to the ground / For what he did to her...’ That grim reality of gender-based violence is repeated on the more sombre but no less incendiary Trust Your Rage, where Anna sings ‘Let me know when you get home...’
Hawxx’s sonic boil is dynamic and cathartic too. Embrace The Ugly, which sternly states, ‘You don’t owe the world your beauty’, throws back to the riot grrrl protests of the 90s, erupting at patriarchal structures that reduce women to ‘bodies and vessels’ and ‘mothers and sluts’ over snotty, glitching guitars. At their heaviest, there are shades of Gojira and even the progressive tech of Meshuggah. Bite is hell-for- leather thrash, going straight for the jugular of the Church, with Anna snarling: ‘There’s holiness in queerness / There’s holiness in Pride / There’s holiness in witches / There’s holiness in bitches’. Every second of this debut album has something to say and ensures you remember the message long after it meets its squalling end. This is music you feel in your heart just as much as your gut.