Every coin has two sides: heads and tails. Both are necessary to the value of the coin. Neither is more important than the other. So it is with Tooth & Nail band Hawk Nelson. Flip heads, you get the band’s signature punk rock fun. Flip tails and find an introspection that fuels it all.
The band’s fifth studio album Crazy Love reveals the right combination of heads and tails: a return to the early days of Hawk Nelson rock with an ever-maturing look at life and the need for truth.
“Part of this truth talk is us growing older and wanting to sing about what’s real to us,” says bassist Daniel Biro. “The truth topics make Crazy Love the most different from past records; we are definitely more overt about our faith this time. It’s satisfying to be real like that.”
With Crazy Love, Biro, Jonathan Steingard, and Justin Benner continue the call for action heard on the band’s last studio album Live Life Loud. Inspired by Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, producer Ian Eskelin helped write the title track and debut radio single as a greater wake-up call to love.
Hawk Nelson would have fans seize the day and live this love, as heard in the new song “One Shot”: You got one shot, all you got, take it now. You gotta get up, get up, get up / One life, live it right, keep on moving forward. / You got one shot, all you got, live out loud. / Come on, wake up, wake up, wake up before it’s over. Actions speak louder than words, says Steingard. “It’s a big part of who we are as a band. We meet people wherever we go and find ways to love them the best that we can, in the most practical ways we can.”
Introspection and punk rock combine in a synth-laced “Your Love Is A Mystery” and loud-fast “Skeleton,” songs that admit faults and insecurities that can only give way to Christ’s love. “Often we forget that God is there, so we take control. It’s easy to think that we have control until reality hits us. These songs show that no matter how hard we fall, God, in his love, is there to pick us up,” says Benner.
Easily grasped are the loud elements of Hawk Nelson; all the while the band’s quiet thoughts build in the background. Opposite the loud rock is a focused intentionality that speaks to the core of the band and the unanimous band favorite, the anthemic “My Next Breath,” reveals that side of the band. “This song is undoubtedly the heart of how we feel about our faith. Some might see Hawk Nelson as this ‘good time party band’ but each of us feel very strongly about our faith and I think this song communicates it better than any other.”
The guys of Hawk Nelson admit that they could jump around, rock out and call it day but they believe in a purpose greater than the music: to know and be the love of God to people everywhere. It’s their faith that fuels the fast and slow of Crazy Love to reveal a “good time party band” that translates the rigors of life into music – music that will move people to action.
Lori Mahon, Overture-Media
Genre: Pop, Rock
Members: Daniel Biro, Jonathan Steingard, Justin Benner
Current Record Label: BEC Recordings/Tooth & Nail Records
Albums: Letters to the President (2004), Bring Em Out EP (2005), Smile, It's the End of the World (2006), Gloria EP (2006), Hawk Nelson Is My Friend (2008), One Little Miracle EP (2008), Live Life Loud! (2009), Hawkology (2010), Crazy Love (2011), The Light Sides (2011), Christmas (2011), Made (2013)