Hunter Kill Hunter bear all the classically instilled characteristics of a new, unsigned band – big ideas, a stellar work ethic and a cherry-picked list of influences to yield the best results. It’s a time-honoured game plan that’s seen many rise through the ranks to the level of genuine superstardom. However, Hunter Kill Hunter don’t find themselves amongst that crop, at least not yet, given how new EP II struggles to attain the ideas that hover above their station.
What the London quintet try to do is fairly clear too, attempting to fill the void left by Funeral For A Friend by peddling their slightly heavier, throatier brand of alt-rock. And about half the time, they manage to get it right; Too Much To Take and Sinking From Within are both straightforward and melodic enough to reach that top branch of populism, and the mid-paced The Hunted harks back to Hundred Reasons at their most expansive. No boundaries are being pushed whatsoever, but II‘s best tracks put forward the very real possibility of something bigger in the future.
It’s just a shame that the whole EP doesn’t follow the same path. The main issue is Justin Jackson’s vocals, which reach for a visceral post-hardcore growl but turn out as more of a haphazard shout. There’s little to no precision or artifice, and combined with some of the tighter instrumental work the result can feel overly choppy. It doesn’t help that there are a couple of tracks that veer off the mark in terms of quality either, like the lukewarm They’ve Traded Us For Gold or the forgettable Neverlasting Light.
It makes for a largely exasperating listen overall, given how uneven II is. The good stuff definitely outweighs the bad, but not by much, and the whole thing is really only a minor positive. And that’s not to say that there’s promise here because there definitely is; Hunter Kill Hunter need to iron out the kinks in their sound before they really hit the mark they’re capable of. But with a bit of time, there’s little doubt that will be the case.
For fans of: Funeral For A Friend, Finch, Hundred Reasons
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘II’ by Hunter Kill Hunter is out now.