December National Music Reviews

Review: The Hunt – The Hunt Begins

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The Hunt
The Hunt Begins
Sacred Bones
Street: 11.12
The Hunt = (Joy Division * Interpol * The Vigilantes) / (Sambo Ghanbar * The Estranged)
It’s been a long time coming for The Hunt Begins, as front man Jasper McGandy and Christian Kount have babied this project since 2007. The Hunt recorded this album in 2009, and after being The Vigilantes’ frontman and the third vocalist for The Virus, McGandy seemed to have found a new, refreshing niche when The Hunt released their One Thousand Nights 7” in 2007, albeit an almost non-sequitur departure from aughts street punk. Given the “what’s cool” music climate of 2009, this album is visionary: McGandy croons in his lush pogo/post-punk–crossover baritone, almost breaching his voice’s breadth into a holler. “Fifteen Minutes” exhibits rhythmic dynamics that propel the “What have we done to all the young men?!” chorus (which, at least, nods to a street punk gang-vocal motif). The album’s strongest track is “Set the Rising Run,” which gradually builds with wistful guitar-chord progressions that bloom into a rock n’ roll guitar solo to punctuate “The young ones die to sing along” with gang shouts of “Young ones!” The political “Black and White” and closer “One Thousand Nights” exude an eerie, reverbed-out sound that spirals into a goth-punk mania. “When The Sky Turns Black,” additionally, shows McGandy singing of romantic strife similar to Nick 13’s solo work. With the dirgelike “Scripts” soaking The Hunt’s soundscape with malaise and yearning, it’s a pity that this record came before the band could gain footing as indie darlings working in this project (their Cult of Youth membership notwithstanding)—The Hunt Begins is a fantastic album. –Alexander Ortega
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