Review Summary: What do you know? It sounds like....nothing I've ever heard.
Dear Hunter patriarch Casey Crescenzo has at this point proven himself an exceedingly adept musician both as a multi-instrumentalist and as a writer. From his soaring, thematic epics that are the Acts to the extremely ambitious concept of the Color Spectrum, he and the Dear Hunter collective have no qualms against trying something new. With this EP, only being sold on a 2007 tour, The Dear Hunter tried their hand at the art of remixing, no easy feat to perform be sure. Coming as no surprise to fans of the band, they pull it off fantastically, providing us with musical ideas not yet exhibited by the band both instrumentally and in overall mood.
With the exception of the beautifully re-imagined version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and a random untitled song that quite honestly sounds good but could easily be taken or left, the band is remixing their own music. This rightly can cause a jaded feeling from prospective listeners but those who give this EP a shot will hear (yet again) nothing like the Dear Hunter has done in the past. Given the quality and nature of the original songs, being doused heavily in theatric, bombastic effects, it would be all too easy for the remixes to do nothing but change up the effects, alter some pacing and call it a day. Never a group to do such shoddy work and true to Dear Hunter form, they instead take their own music in a completely different direction, sifting Smiling Swine, The Church and the Dime (the two highlights), and Battesimo del Fuoco through a sometimes hazy, sometimes jazzy, but unmistakably bluesy filter. The theatrics and tension are completely removed from this EP and instead Casey’s voice is the center of attention, and a well deserving one. His voice is powerful, soulful, and somber and meshes perfectly with each song. It’s quite easy to tell the band is not only talented, but students of music. Interestingly, even though “Red Hands” is considered by many to be the band’s best song, its remix comes across as underwhelming. While the bluesy lens the other songs are seen through is brilliant, “Red Hands” eschews this for a more typical (for the band) sound, which pales in comparison to the original.
The Dear Hunter’s latest release Migrant
has been called an introspective album, delving into Casey’s life and mind. Be that as it may, you won’t hear a more passionate sounding version of the man than on this EP and with The Dear Hunter’s amazing skill set, these re-tunings of some of their best works will hopefully leave any fan as satisfied as when they first discovered the band.