Hailing out of Washington DC, Bells and Hunters recently recorded their debut album Modern Witch’s Songbook and has set about revealing it to us all via three instalments. The first part comes in the new and suitably titled EP, Modern Witch’s Songbook Vol I: Fairy Tales. Consisting of four tracks revelling in the diversity of sound and imagination which the band’s fans already heartily embrace, the EP is a captivating introduction for the rest of us to the Bells and Hunters temptation.
Bells and Hunters began in 2008, formed by vocalist Kelliann Beavers and vocalist/guitarist Keith Fischer who united through “a mutual love of creativity, song writing, and Jeff Buckley.” In no time their emerging eclectic sound enticed ears; its fusion of folk, blues, and varied decades of rock stirring up attention, as shown by debut EP The Static Sea in 2010. Three years later the band released their acclaimed first album Weddings and Funerals, though the next horizons of the band almost saw it all come to an end as members relocated to other cities across the US. Instead Beavers and Fischer called on long-time friends in drummer Guido Dehoratiis, guitarist Joe McMurray, and bassist Avi Walter, to be replaced later by Eric Putnam, to complete the new line-up.
It is fair to say that the Bells and Hunters sound has been in constant evolution across its releases but Vol I: Fairy Tales shows the biggest step through its quartet of offerings, a trait to be presumably continued across the remaining parts of the album ahead. Opening with Bruises, the EP quickly grips ears and appetite with the song’s fiery start veined by great spicy grooves with a touch of Rocket From the Crypt to them. Led along by thumping beats and eager riffs, those grooves and indeed song soon have hips swinging and attention quickly on board, even more so as the similarly tangy tones of Beavers show their magnetic lure. The track continues to stomp and invention romp with infectious enterprise and anthemic energy, those early hooks still perpetual bait within the controlled yet rousing character of the Morningwood meets Martha and The Muffins like persuasion of the song.
Warm and vibrant Keys bring the following Mexico into view next, the engaging entrance springing into a busier blues rock toned canter led by the vocals of Fischer this time around. Again rhythms are a pungent enticement, bold and firmly offered as the guitars spin a spicy sonic web courted by the rich addition of Beaver’s dark siren-esque vocal backing. Sultrily tantalising, the song makes a compelling proposal more than matched by that of Lady Luck. Again sticky blues air and melodic flames colour a flavoursome stroll, though a dark country spicing adding brings new ripe hues to the seductive shadows and evocative breath of the fiery croon.
The EP is brought to an end by the electronic tempting of Fairy Tails; a song merging eighties synth pop and nineties indie rock in an electro romance. It is a hug further enhanced by the primal bass resonance rumbling within the ethereal and increasingly muggy embrace of sound and vocal seducing from within the song. Reminding of Young Marble Giants in some ways, it is a mesmeric conclusion to a great first taste for us of Bells and Hunters.
The second part of their new album is released February 2016 and anticipation for that, thanks to the thoroughly enjoyable Vol I: Fairy Tales, is already impatient in us and a great many more.
Modern Witch’s Songbook Vol I: Fairy Tales is out now and available as a name your price download at the Bells and Hunters Bandcamp profile.
Pete RingMaster 15/12/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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