The Dear Hunter
Act I: The Lake South, the River North


3.5
great

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
March 6th, 2007 | 82 replies | 22,583 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Receiving End of Sirens front man channels Thrice, Muse and P!ATD with this high concept disc.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

The Dear Hunter’s Act I is truly a modern epic. In the tradition of ancient bards and George Lucas, the 21st century Punk band weave a fascinating tale of perilous escape on their debut recording, an 8 track concept EP. The lyrics tell of the terrifying flee of a central group of characters, through what appears to be a high security death camp of some sort (or it could just be another album about a breakup. Who the heck knows). Musically the Dear Hunter is a melting pot of many of today’s alt rock bands, combining elements of Muse, Panic! at the Disco, Thrice, Dredg and The Mars Volta. Is it an Alt. Press editor’s wet dream? Pretty much, but the sheer fact that a modern rock band can bring this much to the table and still walk away with an original sound is pretty impressive.

Then again, in a day and age when guitar heavy pop-rock rules the charts, the airwaves and the diaries of every little sister who been done wrong by her boyfriend, a band that can begin a CD with an entirely a cappella song and then an entirely instrumental song (without any guitars!) is gonna stick out like a sore thumb. But the Dear Hunter do it so ***ing well (at least for a few songs anyway), it’s near unbelievable. Battesimo Del Fuoco (Italian for Baptism of the Fire) sounds like Dustin Kensrue’s ghost summoning the winds of the west to join him in singing praise to the gods of rock, while The Lake South (instrumental) sounds like Danny Elfman composing a song for The Lord of the Rings. It’s all very confusing stuff, especially when City Escape comes in. The EP’s third track blends Dredg’s heavy art rock with vocals that sound very reminiscent of Brendan Urie (that’s the guy from Panic! At the Disco). “Plagued by practical and a mercenary lust they tear at her skin” screams Casey Crescenzo (The album’s producer, vocalist and, for the most part, instrumentalist, formerly of Post-Hardcore group, The Receiving End of Sirens), in a sort of call and response with a gang of back-up singers, who add a very cabaret feel with their moans of “The trouble began, but never ended”.

If this second paragraph leaves you feeling like you know absolutely nothing about this band’s sound than I assure you, I tried. It can not be stressed how many different sounds the Dear Hunter blend. Throughout the first half of the album the band goes from Post-Hardcore to Classical, to electronica and back. Its hard to tell when the album will sound like the Ragtime meets At the Drive-In choruses of The Inquiry of Ms. Terri to the organic, heavily cinematic Panic! covers Bjork verses of 1878. The one thing that stays true through the entire album is the lack of unrecognizable sounds (despite how randomly they are placed) and the fact that many a song goes on a bit too long.

The first half of Act I (full title Act I: The Lake South, The River North) is nothing short of breathtaking, an artist’s rendition of today’s music scene underneath the lyricism of a true pro, but during the second half things just get a little tiresome. The final two songs are no where near as original as the first two (the first half of His Hands Matched His Tongue is a stone cold Say Anything ripoff) and the album’s other instrumental and album closer (The River North) is just boring. If it was Casey’s plan all along to make an ever so faulted (but oh so sing-a-longable) Prog Rock EP than he succeeded, but I still hope he can pull things together more on his next release. Good, but not great.

-Joe



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user ratings (652)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Abaddon2005
March 6th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review, this is a pretty good album, not sure whether it's post-hardcore.. it sounds sort of like faux-prog rock to my ears.
That intro riff to 'City Escape' especially sounds like it was ripped out of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's book.

CushMG15
March 6th 2007



1802 Comments


I'm gonna have to check this out, as I was curious where he Casey ran off to. Good Review, but Receiving End of Sirens was pop punk? I disagree. Thats my only gripe tho.

The Jungler
March 6th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't put TDH in Post-Hardcore, I just added the secondary genre (progressive).
And to Cush, I haven't listened to very much REOS, just a little bit to help with this review. What would you call them? Thanks for the comments guys.

trustxdialect
March 6th 2007



1502 Comments


Post-rock, possibly? Wikipedia has them labeled as post-hardcore, but that's not right.

edit: I just downloaded this, and so far, it's fantastic. It's much more accessible than REOS.This Message Edited On 03.06.07

CushMG15
March 6th 2007



1802 Comments


I would say they're post hardcore, but they blend a fair amount of electronic elements and progressive ideas. They're under rock here, which is probably the best bet since they blend a fair amount of styles.

trustxdialect
March 6th 2007



1502 Comments


Probably safest. Progressive would be my next suggestion, but rock fits well enough.

Zebra
Moderator
March 6th 2007



2647 Comments


This sounds cool enough, the only thing that scares me is the album recommendations.
Nice review.

The Jungler
March 6th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha Zebra
I edited in post-hardcore. I could've done Rock, but that decreases the word count :/

trustxdialect
March 6th 2007



1502 Comments


3.5 seems about right for this.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 6th 2007



3995 Comments


So, I listened to three tracks, "City Escape," "Battesimo del Fuoco," and "Black Sandy Beaches" (the last track isn't on the EP I suppose). For me, this band is just another Gatsby's American Dream rip off. For some reason it's now cool to be pop punk and be influenced by prog, classic rock, or more artsy indie-infused pop punk (see Matchbook Romance, My Chemical Romance, From First to Last). I trace this all back to In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and Ribbons and Sugar. This band just rips off of all of the diminished, half diminished chords, and dominant sevenths that were popularized (and executed more successfully) by GAD, Circa Survive, and As Cities Burn. Also, the chorus on Fuoco sucksssss. Wow that was as bad as watching the youtube of Emocapella singing "Cute without the E."

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 6th 2007



3995 Comments


"Black Sandy Beaches" was sort of nice though.

Abaddon2005
March 7th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


^ This really sounds more rooted in alt rock/indie than pop-punk to me, but I understand where you're coming from. Much better than Receiving End of Sirens either way though.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 7th 2007



3995 Comments


Ya REOS are nards.

pikester
March 8th 2007



12 Comments


So there's a band called "The Dear Hunter" and they're... not Deerhunter?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 11th 2007



3995 Comments


A play on words....perhaps?!!?!?!?!?!!?

Tyler
Emeritus
March 11th 2007



7928 Comments


CLEVER.

trustxdialect
March 11th 2007



1502 Comments


ITS RONG 2 B CLEVR.

But anyway, I still don't see the comparisons to Panic!. I think he sounds better than Brendan and more akin to the guy from Kiss Kiss.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 11th 2007



2806 Comments


lol it's just "Catch Without Arms"

The Jungler
March 11th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wait, Kiss Kiss? I don't hear that at all.

and thanks FP, I'll edit it.

Doppelganger
March 12th 2007



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually really enjoy this album. Good review, also.



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