Building on its well-received predecessor of 2015, the new EP from British alternative rock quintet Hunter Kill Hunter is a striking affair. II is evidence of a band settling into their creative skin if yet to lure out the truly unique aspects of their sound though from start to finish the release captures ear and imagination alike. It is a bold and creatively tenacious affair which leaves a definite appetite for more from this emerging outfit.
Formed in 2015, the London five-piece soon drew attention with their live presence, which has gone on to see the band play with the likes of Jonah Matranga and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and find their debut EP Find A Way Home well received. Merging post hardcore roars with infectious alternative rock bred enterprise, Hunter Kill Hunter offer an emotionally charged, tempestuously intense affair which has found a new strength and maturity to fuel its visceral yet openly catchy tempting in the new EP.
Opening with the harmonically coloured enticing of Intro, band and release soon up the ante physically and emotionally with Too Much To Take. Instantly a snarling air grips ears and the textures of the song but equally catchiness is abound as vocalist Justin Jackson, revealing both his raw and melodic side, uncages the song’s heart backed by the similarly potent tones of Stuart May and his and fellow guitarist Kieran Harper’s adventurous enterprise. It is a trait which infests the whole of the song, its twists and turns often seemingly familiar yet driven by a fresh imagination which ensures there is nothing predictable about the fine encounter.
Sinking From Within swiftly uncages a rhythmic proposal which demands attention next, the growling air of Rhys Kirby’s bass in league with the eagerly swung beats of Joe Lanigan. It is a formidable enticing as inviting as it is predacious and the lead into another potent blend of rapacious intensity and melody honed angst. There is a touch of Billy Talent to the song at times mixing in with further unexpected moments of Hunter Kill Hunter invention as once more expectations are evaded by the excellent track.
The reflection bred embrace of The Hunted is a mellower encounter but too equipped with an instinctive almost tempestuous edge which erupts in sonic crescendos between the plaintive warmth of the vocals. More of a grower against the more quickly impacting prowess of its predecessors, the song grows into another truly engaging affair with a lingering infectiousness before They’ve Traded Us For Gold finds an even calmer landscape for its resourceful proposition. As with the last song, its calm is interrupted with fiery expulsions of sound and energy, each outburst escalating an impressive hug of melodic and harmonic enterprise.
The imposing intensity and volatile climates of earlier tracks is enjoyably exposed again in the outstanding We Are The Blame, its eventful drama stirring ears and spirit in swift time while closing track Neverlasting Light is the darkest, arguably most intense moment within II as heart and sound expose their rawest qualities and honesty in a turbulent and pleasingly imposing tempest.
Another track growing to its full height with subsequent listens, it provides a thickly satisfying end to a highly enjoyable encounter with Hunter Kill Hunter. As suggested earlier, there are many familiar aspects to the EP yet it would not be wrong to say each is twisted or employed in something building towards a character of sound distinct to the band, and something rather easy to want more of.
II is out now @ https://hunterkillhunter.bandcamp.com/album/ii-2
Pete RingMaster 17/01/2017
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