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The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, The River North CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.12 | 308 ratings

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4 stars This is the first part of a supposed 6-CD concept, mainly the work of one man - Casey Crescenzo - who sings and plays most of the instruments here. Given that fact, this is a quite startling achievement featuring a dazzling array of styles. It's hard to believe that music of this quality is practically unknown.

The opening track is a capella, with harmonies that The Beach Boys would have been proud of. "The Lake South" is a short jazzy instrumental which takes us into "City Escape", which is where the Mars Volta comparisons begin, sounding similar to something from "Deloused in the Comatorium", but this band are no TMV rip-offs. Crescenzo begins to show his vocal talents here - he can hit the high notes and put the emotion into the lyrics. The drums, from Nick Crescenzo, are also excellent."1878" is the first real classic here. A complex and unusual drum pattern underpins a great melody, before it bursts into the chorus which is one of the those that immediately gets into your brain and makes you go "wow!". "The Pimp and the Priest" takes us into New Orleans jazz territory, sounding akin to something from Muscle of Love-era Alice Cooper, before "His Hands Matched His Tongue" hits us as the best track on the CD. This is a concept closer to match the "Listening to you" ending of Tommy or "Wind at my Back" from Snow. Starting off with gentle acoustic guitar, the vocal harmonies bring up the goose pimples before the dramatic and beautiful ending. Stunning stuff.

This CD is listed as an EP here - it clocks in at just under 40 minutes but the maxim of "quality not quantity" certainly applies here. Featuring two absolute corkers, this is superior to most band's 78 minute efforts. Along with Tinyfish, this band are the best "unknown" band I've come across. My only gripe is that the lyrics are very hard to read on the CD cover, so I'm not really sure what the concept is all about aside from "the story of a boy from his creation to his untimely end". Apart from that, I can only hope and pray that they deliver the rest of this concept as promised. Highly recommended!

chopper | 4/5 |


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