When I stumbled across Shmohawk a little over a year ago, the group’s sky-high potential was very evident. For some songwriters, churning out devastatingly catchy and memorable hooks is like second nature — with a sort of audible effortless nonchalance that adds even more to the sound. Shmohawk is very much like this — their hooks are timeless, as is their entire power-pop/alt-rock sound. When I compared their sound to The Byrds, Big Star, The Replacements and others in their first feature, it wasn’t a hyperbole — these guys have the potential to be that good.
With all this in mind, it’s not much of a surprise that their new full-length – of the self-titled variety – is their best offering yet. Featuring a comfortable cast of songs featuring rollicking rock guitars, soothing power-pop twangs, and flavorful harmonicas, John McFarland’s vocals add a constantly engaging element that acts like a mixture of Tom Petty’s suave infectiousness and Alex Chilton’s anthemic fervor. The first two tracks, in particular the crunchy chorus of “Herding Sheeple” and the longingly contagious “Everything I Want Is Nothing I Can Own”, showcase what to expect from the rest of the album — hook-filled greatness not common in today’s rock music.
I was very excited about Shmohawk last year, and with the release of this album it simply confirms to me that these guys are destined for greatness. Stream the new album in full below and buy it on Bandcamp: