The Hawthorne Effect – Awakefulsleep

Reviewed by Meghan Player

Chicage four-piece The Hawthorne Effect are about to make their voices heard with the release of their debut album, Awakefulsleep.

Kicking off with ‘All Wars Start This Way‘, the album progresses into a radio-friendly, feel good, clean rock sound that wouldn’t look out-of-place in a Top 40 countdown.

Viva‘ is undoubtedly the band at its best – demonstrating a mid-to-late 80s classic rock vibe that drums up images of early Bon Jovi, or to a lesser extent, AC/DC. The change in tempo and delivery, showcase the bands versatility, and offer the listener a closer look into the band persona.

It’s by fourth track, ‘Run‘ however, that the album starts to feel a little flat and safe sounding. The melody and kick are still there, but an overall ‘watered-down rock’ feeling is impossible to miss.

Proceeding track, ‘Anything‘ – the bands attempt at a ballad – is well-played, with frontman John Jauch’s vocals reaching gracious heights and depths – creating a whimsical yet haunting melody.

The mid-record lull seems to be over by the time the band reaches ‘Drunken Mistake‘ – while the safe sounding rock is still imminent, the flashes of potential for this band are certainly evident.

Devil Don’t Care‘ has all the promise of a great band with a promising future, while closer ‘Goodbye‘ wraps up the album with acoustic-based simplicity.

Overall, The Hawthorne Effect’s debut album will be hit or miss for most listeners. While there are plenty of tracks to keep you interested, there are also a few that leave a lot to be desired.  Hopefully, with a bit more time under their belts, the band will come out of their shells a little bit more and show us what they’re made of.


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