[Release date 12.05.17]
Hunter & the Bear I first heard via Spotify, which may not be overly loved by some musicians, however it did its job as Hunter & the Bear were recommended as I liked Tax The Heat and Broken Witt Rebels. The four piece consist of Will Irvine (vocals/guitar), Jimmy (lead guitar/vocals), Gareth (drums/vocals) and Chris (bass/vocals). They have already supported the likes of Eric Clapton and Simple Minds, as well as relentless touring on their own.
Hunter & the Bear have those big, arena friendly anthems like ‘You Can Talk’, that simply burst out of your speakers and have you hooked in an instant. Lyrically they base their songs on everyday life stories and again on ‘Hologram’ the chorus is so big and in your face, as the band cleverly use their vocal talents on the harmonies.
‘Won’t You Ever Come Home’ reminded me of the Dunwells, as like them Hunter & the Bear use vocal harmonies to great effect. This was the song that drew my attention to the band and each song on the album merits its place. There are no fillers on this album, although ‘Nickajack’ takes a few spins to get into fully.
They have a good taste in musical influences, including Led Zeppelin which shows on ‘Who’s Gonna Hear You’ with its big drums and bass rhythm. Then there is the guitar riffs that are all over the song, making for the heaviest song on the album and one that tips a big nod of the hat to 70′s rock. At the opposite end of the loudness scale, the trippy/atmospheric ‘I Am What I Am’ shows another side to the band’s music, impressive stuff.
Based on their debut album, Hunter & the Bear deserve to be headlining the bigger venues in a few years time. Whether they will relies on the fickle hand of fate, although their growing fan base and constant touring are ensuring the band are well on the road to this. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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