Sunday 16 December 2012

Hunt/Gather - False Monuments + Hunt/Gather EP

That's right, I decided to do a double review. Hunt/Gather recently released their new self-titled EP as a follow up to their album False Monuments, which came out around June this year. Both releases were follow ups to the EP Former Rust, which came out towards the end of 2011. You can read my review of that here.

For those not in the know, Hunt/Gather are a four-piece hardcore/noise band from Glasgow. Like their hometown, they play with a bleak and harsh sound. They have recently played alongside Deathwish Inc band Birds In Row and recently opened up for Rolo Tomassi, in a gig that also included Oathbreaker and Goodtime Boys! They're certainly getting their name out there.

1. B/W Gush
2. Grounds for Divorce
3. Harbouring
4. Anchorage
5. Denver Shaking
6. Cold Furnace
7. Pyramid Eyes
8. Stay Gold
9. Innards Out
False Monuments begins with an angry, raging slab of mid-pace, sludge ridden hardcore. There are plenty of off-kilter time signatures and subtle melodic moments. The raspy screams make the overall atmosphere very oppressive. Hunt/Gather introduce a post-hardcore influence into their sound, thanks to some nifty clean vocals. The urgency is turned up as Grounds for Divorce is unleashed. The metallic guitar leads are more evident here, adding more melody, but it's when they're at their most abrasive that you begin to see the direction they're coming from. On Facebook, the band list their influences as bands like Knut and Beecher amongst others and that isn't far from the truth, in terms of their sound.

Their songs a sharp and too the point and don't last longer than they need to. Harbouring breaks thing up with the clean vocals heading up the song. I like the fact that Hunt/Gather don't restrict themselves to one particular genre, but pepper their sound with a myriad of influences and textures. After the short interlude of Anchorage, Denver Shaking takes over, with initial indie inspired melodic guitar alongside the noise. The vocals at times remind me slightly of At The Drive-In, not sure if anyone else is hearing that!

The intro to Cold Furnace whisks your off to another place briefly, before some soulful singing warms your soul and rescues you from the cold of the previous songs.
It's easy to get truly lost in the song as it winds its way through nearly five minutes of awesome hybrid hardcore. Pyramid Eyes is all the more furious in its urgency, with vocalist Geoff sounding pretty possessed. Stay Gold is not a cover of the pop-song of the same name, but a hugely angry and sinister hardcore song, with a riff on repeat for part of it, which paints a hypnotic vision. It all ends abruptly, as Hunt/Gather herald in Innards Out. This song is out and out, one of their most vicious tracks. It has plenty going on, from the dual screaming too the crazed drumming.

So impressions are very good as False Monuments comes to a close. It shows Hunt/Gather in pretty formidable form, not wishing to stand still or stick to one particular sound.

You can stream False Monument below:-

So, it's on to their recently released EP -

1. Conveyor Belt Vertebrae
2. Phoenix Maker
3. Black Gossamer
4. 0800
5. Feral Tact

Hunt/Gather's new EP follows on from False Monuments, but ratchets up the noise, experimentalism and hardcore values. The droning intro to Conveyor Belt Vertebrae illustrates this perfectly. The vocals take on more of a caustic slant too, which fits well with the sound. They seem to become heavier with each passing song. Phoenix Maker has some ace grind-inspired drumming in it, but it's when the sludgy sections come in that H/G sound at their biggest.

H/G seem to have taken a path towards blackened hardcore with this release. It's a good take on it too. Just listen to Black Gossamer to hear it for yourselves. The production is different too. It's seems louder and more in tune with the music. The songwriting seems to be slightly more focused, while losing none of its inherent experimentalism. 0800 just sounds nasty (in a good way).

Feral Tract sees H/G going...well...feral! Like Conveyor Belt Vertebrae at the starts, it weighs in at over five minutes in length and marks the perfect closer to this EP. This is a fine EP, which sees Hunt/Gather dragging themselves upwards towards a darker, more accomplished place.

Check it out below:-

In summary then, Hunt/Gather have got a big year ahead of them in 2013, which should see them climb the ranks of the British scene and get wider publicity, which is no less than they deserve!

Keep an eye on Facebook at for news and make sure you go and see them at a gig soon!

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