Thursday, July 11, 2013

Guest Review: Hunting Club – “Mosaic”

About a week ago I saw that Hunting Club had a new album coming out. I immediately remembered that about two years ago Andrew Archer came out of nowhere with a great review of their debut album Plaid Album. I wondered how he was doing and promised myself that I would check out the album. A couple of days ago Andrew (now a recently published author! [check out the link below]) once again wrote me out of nowhere with a review of Hunting Club's new album Mosaic. Thanks again Andrew for another firey review! You're always welcome on these pages. 

"Musical Concoctions"

I attended a Hunting Club show in the spring of 2012 at “Cause” in Minneapolis (after party was at “Effect”). After covering most of “The Plaid Album,” the instruments leapt into an awakening new track. Front man and infinite hipster—Eric Pasi (known to wear sunglasses on cloudy days)—had previously shared the unnamed song with me via e-mail, so I had some vague familiarity to the track.

I’m not sure if “Double Vision” is a dance or the dance created is the song? The hairs on my arms and neck gathered while I felt my bodily atmosphere shift. The feeling it invokes is between the one you get during a captivating speech and the moment you found out Steve Jobs died; it sort of comes out of nowhere with an auditory hurl, but parasitically implants itself. This shock never gets old. If you don’t at least tap your foot to the jam I would consult a physician about potential paralysis or other pseudo-neurological condition (e.g. blurred or double vision):

how can you pretend it’s super-stition?

knowing what is next would beat you senseless

After the 5 to 6 audience members left the venue, I slalomed to the front of the stage to catch up with Eric;

“That new [Double Vision] track is hot. It’s gonna be your hit single...I’m telling you, the Current [radio station] is gonna be all over that shit, you wait n’ see.” 

Hunting Club’s sophomore album opens with “Magic Bullet.”  The feel is something like running while you are stoned.

Tracks like “Skyscraper” exhibit the band’s true talent for uniquely-crafted yet stylistic jams that even inspire the most talentless of Caucasians to dance. My journalist copy was initially titled “THC 1,” which I was told did not refer to the band’s extra-curricular activities[citation needed].

“White Lies” has that hypnotic or transient, gritty sound that is like tentacles to the senses. The listener is held and it conjures an image of a benevolent octopus slow dancing with someone.

There is an omniscient—or at the very least—arrogant thread to “Hollywood (who cares?).” The lyrics are a nonchalant series of incongruent polarities:

blind faith black flag
line up get trashed
i know everyone
forwards backwards

The recursive track is ripe with satire depicting a Hollywood culture enveloped in the superficial. This commentary reaches the depths of that type of social complacency:

live in magazine
culture and wet dream
you know everyone
inside and outside 

The album finishes strong with the anthem and declaration, “Nothing Lasts Forever” as well as “More Than Games,” which takes aim at the romantic quest with existential annotations:

Deep in the sky I’m empty

[...] Dying for your apathy

The chorus grows incrementally as the song evolves into a remarkable ballad rich with emotional countenance.

I still can’t understand any of the words in the final song, “Suburban Bear,” but the fucking title is awesome!

This idiosyncratic collection of songs is an exploration of the shallow state of America. Songs like “Skyscraper” might be hinting at the capitalist ethos in general;

Living well on paper,

Living well on borrowed time

Or maybe I’m projecting... #studentloans

The album’s musical diversity is a concoction of jazz, hip hop and indie-rock. Despite the eclectic blend, the prodigious writing, instrumentation and swagger has left the audience with a musical composite that is creatively uniform; a "Mosaic."

-Andrew James Archer, author of the new book “Pleading Insanity”-

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