In the Pink of Condition
Reviewed by: Max Miller
Cardiff-based psychedelic singer-songwriter Huw Gwynfryn Evans, better known as H. Hawkline, has quite possibly flown under your radar until now, despite having released two full-lengths, scads of EPs and singles since 2010. His self-described “strange pop” rarely skirts too far out of line with the psych/garage revival that has been popular over the last half-decade or so, and yet he hasn’t found the success of, say, Ty Segall or Tame Impala. But, as evidenced by In the Pink of Condition, his third LP (and first for Heavenly Recordings), that’s not going to stop him from trying.
Evans’ compositions, with little exception, follow a strict format of low-key, hooky pop-rock tunes reminiscent of the Velvet Underground overlaid with skronking Tom Verlaine-esque guitar leads. To bring in some modern reference points, tunes like “Sticky Slithers” and “Everybody’s On the Line” sound like a less ambitious Morgan Delt, and the entire album seems like something John Dwyer would easily put out on Castle Face.
With the exception of a few numbers like the bouncy single “Moons In My Mirror,” however, most of In the Pink of Condition can feel like a blur. Evans has proven himself more than competent at piecing together all the necessary psychedelic touchstones, but he has yet to stumble across that ineffable quality that might someday free him from becoming lost in the haze.