Monday, April 3, 2023

REVIEW | 'Minnesota Fats' - Robotic Hawks

Robotic Hawks are 'three old bald guys' (vocalist Tyler Pollard's words, not mine!) who, on their latest offering Minnesota Fats bring the energy.

Above all else, they bring heart.

Take the title track. Through using the life story of the man dubbed 'Minnesota Fats', a pool hustler called Rudolf Wanderone, the trio deftly use the analogy to explore the struggles and challenges of being a musician. It's smart songwriting and the result is wonderful, inspiring as it tells of perseverance in the name of art - and with its perfect combination of bass, guitars and drums, is one of those addictive songs, a song that you can't help but bop along to. With fun choruses, it's hard not to be joining in with this song in some capacity...or finding yourself relating to.

'I felt the story served as a great parallel to the struggles of musicians and artists. To non-artists, lack of financial success or global domination represents failure, losing,' Pollard shares. 'However, to me, I’m still here, I’m still playing and writing music that I’m proud of, which overrides that negative expectation/perception. Music is my purpose and my unwillingness to stop doing it makes me a winner. So, I guess ‘Fats’ is really about self-awareness, self-validation, ownership, and perspective. All artists are losers and winners, depending on who you ask.'

In the middle of the pack is 'Turn Away'. Soundwise, it contrasts the lyrics - its got that strong driving anthem-esque feeling about it, sonically, yet lyrically it's about someone who is 'hopelessly fading' as they deal with all the emotional implications from the breakdown of a relationship. And that contrast? That contrast works, ultimately creating this sense of optimism that shit happens but we can continue. I like that, and I like these guys' spin on this sort of situation.

'I'm Not Your Man' is a cover, the original having been released in 1986 by Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers. I wasn't familiar with the track myself, admittedly, but after listening to it after hearing this version, I can safely say it was an inspired choice, and an even more inspired interpretation - there's real affection for this track from these guys, it's obvious. It opens with a piercing riff, immediately grabbing you, before breaking into a bluesy rock number with a brilliant bassline. It feels wonderfully throwback, leaning at a perfectly retro angle and, yet, has the potential to feel infinitely fresh. 

I finished this EP with a smile on my face, and the absolute need to hit replay.

Give it a listen and brighten up your Monday (or any day)!

Track List

1. Minnesota Fats

2. Turn Away

3. I'm Not Your Man


Minnesota Fats is out now

For all things Robotic Hawks click here.

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