Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hunting Club-Plaid Album

Andrew "Undeez" Archer is a brother of a friend of ours, Juliet, and is working out in a small town in New Hampshire doing clinical therapy for a Federal program. Lucky for us, in his free time he's finding cool indie rock bands like the Hunting Club from Minneapolis and writing jamandahalfs. Thanks Undeez. The jams keep coming from unexpected places, and we love it.

"Musical Textiles"

Hunting Club’s debut, “Hunting Club (“The Plaid Album”)” can be explained much like the presentation of the opening track; speechless. Rather than being pulled into the music there is a natural magneticism towards this original, idiosyncratic, yet familiar sound. As it opens, slowly the instrumentation intensifies with piano sounds of morning and then abruptly stops, leaving the listener waking to the drum beaten lucid state that “The Coast” transports. A relationship that seemed to burn at both ends, the voice echoes: “started forcing our hands.” The smooth waves of music quickly attach to your long term memory. One cannot help the instant mental attachment the song brings, which fits thematically with the piece; “we were careless in letting it go.”

There is a sense of self blame in the 3rd track, “Real Chance,” which is accompanied by powerful harmonies and tight instrumentation. It stands out from the rest of the songs, but does not seem to fit. That being said, this is the one that repeatedly wakes up the neighbors at 3am. Perhaps a Minnesota connection or nod to the Coen brothers, “Raising Arizona” is a somber, existential tale. Past heartache resurfaces as spilling rumination manifests into an emotionally charged psychotic angst.

As track 5 alludes to, not holding back is exactly what Hunting Club does with “Gold Wheat.” The unification of the instruments, pace and lyrical prose cultivates as the fulcrum to the album. Take note and gather on a second listen (especially if you were texting or on Facebook) to the not so subtle analogical lyrics that stem from the band’s name. There is an eerie start to what appears to be side two of “The Plaid Album”, with distortion that breaks and lends to a sense of starting again or is it starting over? There are more questions than answers, “was it all bad taste?” in “Black Snowflake,” which is a direct contrast from its inverse, “The Coast.” This one offers more confusion and conflict -- “makes no sense.” Still chasing these uncertainties, “Alamo” is a ballad with a lyrical quest for liberation from the pain of losing a complimentary lover that is “the center of my universe.” The record is recharged with “Saucy Banana” being a testimony that rationalizes the shift in perspective that gives Band of Horses something to gallop to. Cocky lines such as “baby I’m on top of your world” declare the past being left behind.

“Sweet Soprano” is a Lo-Fi conversion of sound that is reminiscent of a band like The Black Keys. There is a softer inability for disclaim to the loyalties of a troubled relationship; “I can't leave ya, I can't leave ya.” The tender, wavy ended, “Cactai” begins acoustically before the full band marches to what is a solidification of the diversity that Hunting Club has produced. The song may approximate the concept of the album; acceptance of letting go, but the listener is going to want to hold on to these eleven tracks. 
-Andrew "Undeez" Archer

The album can be bought/downloaded for free here (pay what you want). Check out the album, and if you like what your hear, support this young band. 

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