Bare Hunter – Freedom EP
|Bare Hunter - Freedom|
Release Date: July 2018
London trio Bare Hunter are an enigmatic bunch who deal with quality not quantity as well as taking care of the details rather than just chancing their arm. They are finely dressed gentleman who know what they’re doing and exactly why they are doing it so let’s not dally, the show is about to begin. The band’s new EP, ‘Freedom’, opens with the wonderfully titled ‘Boaty McBoat Face (Still Holding On)’ and we’re talking the bass for an ambling walk by the Thames before the drums and harmonica power in to kick this in to firm blues rock territory. My favourite thing about this opening track is how the vocals are used as an instrument with every grunt, inhalation, exhalation and groan captured in surround sound before being played through a series of effects for added impact. It’s as strong a start as you could hope for and hope is thin on the ground these days.
‘Questions’ is up next and it’s a lurching, gurning swamp-thing of a beast that emerges in the early evening mist dressed up like a prom-king to try its hand at wooing the local beauty. Halfway between the Black Keys and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, there is a heady, sweaty stank about this song and it’s intoxicating. On ‘We’re Not Alone (Trans)’, Bare Hunter take a left-turn in to prog territory with a Fleetwood Mac guitar line and Bryan Ferry fronting Joy Division vocals combining to disorientate as much as it delights. By the time we reach ‘Mountain Song’, the trio are in assured stride using a frontier guitar riff to foretell of a story of adventure, “Horizon we’re running to you right now” they sing and by God you believe them. It’s like the pivotal scene of a film and one that makes your hairs stand on end…if you’re wired right.
|Bare Hunter - caravan of love|
Blues stomper and former single ‘Dry Rot’ is as blistering and vital in this context as it is on its own and brings that JSBX influence back to the surface with triumph and glee. Unusually, the title track of this EP is saved for the climax but ‘Freedom’ is worth waiting for with a groove-based riff and pulsing bass line given credence by a loose beat and some snarling, whisky soaked vocals screaming “I gotta break out of here, find myself, find myself, find myself, find myself, find myself a little taste of FREEDOM!”. Bare Hunter are the band you want to be in but not the band you want to be with – they’d probably get up and leave midway through a romantic dinner because they remembered they needed to finish climbing a mountain or because you were cramping their style. Time to get involved if you haven’t already.