Hearken, "Sure Shock"

Post Author: JP Basileo

Two-pieces always seem among the most impressive musical endeavors, as though the absence of additional band members is made up tenfold by the size and communion of sound. One might assume that without a bassist or second guitar or SOME additional member, a band’s sound would suffer. One would be wrong, especially in the case of Pittsburgh post-punx Hearken. Their track, “Sure Shock” is a huge reminder that two people can pack plenty of punch with just a handful of well calibrated guitar pedals and phrenetic drumming. It’s a song riddled with all the urgency and peril one could ask for around this time of year, electro-charged with Greg Brunner’s brutal kickdrum pulsating like a temple about to pop. Donny Donovan’s guitar starts as a singular voice alone in the void, and is hurled into a maelstrom of a meteor shower, the tone carrying the fire of several full-stacks at full blast. It’s lonely, disparate, and then wholly overwhelming, and back all over again, like a recluse trying their hand at midtown Manhattan at rush hour, and then recoiling back to shelter and safety.
The video for the track, directed by Alesis Heaps and Val Train, is filled with just as much tension and chaos. Alone in some faraway wood, the duo traverses desolate train tracks, parklands mistaken for cemeteries, abandoned buildings, and trailer parks. Images blur and shift in fluidity with the track, becoming violent and explosive to coincide with the dramatic upswell of chorus. That poor kickdrum, spray-painted with their “H,” is set ablaze with sparklers, hit with sledgehammers and thrown around like a rag doll, as the song completely erupts and unravels. It’s a brilliantly eerie feel, exhibiting uncannily huge tone, very appropriately embodied on camera. Dig it.