Review Summary: Fashioning ends of oblivion.
Just a touch of reverb and a subtle fuzzy distortion cloak the playful, opening riff of The Dear Hunter’s Orange
EP. If you’re listening to The Color Spectrum
chronologically, the cute little lick comes in only seconds after Red
’s ‘We’ve Got a Score to Settle’s vicious romp closes shop - like a godsend to help detox the listener from the drunken anger that preceded it. It ain’t no hangover though; no, not at all. The riff that introduces the EP on ‘Echo’ is shortly thereafter accompanied by a warbling organ chord and gentle hi-hat rhythm before bursting into an off-kilter exploration of classic blues rock. It’s a world The Dear Hunter have just barely dabbled in before now, but you wouldn’t know it, would you? See, as ‘Echo’ breaks down into a quiet groove during the bridge and Nick Creszenco provides playful rim percussion to underscore more reverb’d, catchy guitar work, it simply sounds like these boys were meant for this. So, while the song goes on to build out of that groove into a straight-up rock’n’roll jam (including a complimentary guitar solo that absolutely rips) and Orange
goes on to prove itself a little firecracker of energy and excitement, The Dear Hunter themselves simply seem eager to validate the fact that they really were chameleons all along. Casey Creszenco fronts a classic rock band and you really have no grounds to refute that fact - at least, not for four orange-tastic songs, you don’t.
Just like the colours red and orange are only a few hex numbers separated in the colour spectrum, their EP counterparts are similar in a few traits but worlds apart in others. The excellent energy is carried over from Red
but it’s given breathing room on all the tracks, keeping a song like the riff-dominated ‘But There’s Wolves?’ from feeling claustrophobic and lending enough emotion and aural real estate for a track like the slow-burning ‘A Sea of Solid Earth’ to thrive. This ‘breathing room’ doesn’t mean a compromise of ‘awesome’ by any means though - if anything, Orange
is the most fun any EP gets to be (bar perhaps Violet
). No, the band indulges on walking bassline grooves, Zeppelin-inspired guitar tones, extreme pentatonic scale abuse, jaw-dropping guitar solos and the usual vocal acrobatics. Even the weakest track ‘Stuck on a Wire Out on a Fence’ gets to boast the catchiest chorus, the best guitar tones, the neatest bassline and more than a minute of an atmospheric, percussive interlude space-jam. Let me tell you, it sounds good on a resume but it sounds even better at the job interview. And Orange
, while it doesn’t get to claim to be as nonchalant and stupidly happy as Yellow
, sounds more excited and hopeful than it does sound like a colour. Its life support exists within the unique atmosphere it creates: it’s the feeling that precedes the beginning of something huge; the anticipation in the late spring that sets you up for a summer of bliss. Orange
is laid back enough to draw outside the lines and songs like ‘Echo’ and ‘But There’s Wolves?’ work their magic because of it. Orange
gets to be the little firecracker it is by being a little bundle of bluesy joy. It’s one third nostalgic 70s aping, one third Dear Hunter chameleon mocking and one third a natural extension to the band’s arsenal of sounds... or spectrum of colours, if you will.
Who doesn’t love fireworks anyways?