Ah, The Hunna – possibly the only band to have ever sold out before they’d even sold in. An ordinary scroll down any Facebook feed a couple of years ago would’ve inevitably thrown up a promoted ad for this lot, presumably disenfranchised by touring and thinking the most effective way to get their name out there is to pay for it. For what the band is, it’s not like they were wrong though, especially since debut 100 was the sort of underwhelming, uninteresting Britrock that, in any normal circumstances, would barely get out of the student union it was created in, let alone anything close to major tour. But apparently being a shill pays off, and the cult of The Hunna has grown large enough to warrant the release of sophomore album Dare, an album whose release was pushed back to avoid clashing with so many of their fans’ exams.
And that really says it all when it comes to what this album is, the next stepping stone for all the cool kids to namedrop to their Catfish And The Bottlemen-loving friends, while in reality being no less vapid or generic. It’s no wonder The Hunna’s initial marketing ploys relied on such a cavalier manipulation of social media algorithms, as Dare is basically proof that there’s virtually nothing to say about this band otherwise. On its own, it’s not exactly egregious, but it does nothing to establish The Hunna as more than the pale spectre of 2013 indie-rock that just refuses to die.
It’s difficult to know if this was The Hunna’s plan all along as well; the title track and Y.D.W.I.W.M bookend the album on slightly heavier notes (and that term is used incredibly loosely), but otherwise, Dare is a fairly standard exercise at treading water in the indie landfill that we’ve seen so many times before. Tracks like Flickin’ Your Hair and Summer are undoubtedly catchy, but there’s no flavour of unique identity to them, while Babe, Can I Call? and Mother are the token emotional ballads made all the more mawkish by Ryan Potter’s voice that’s clearly not seasoned enough to handle supposedly heartfelt statements like these.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that The Hunna are well aware of this, and instead just playing to what an established young audience would want, namely easy, non-threatening hooks and the broadest of subject matter to gravitate towards. Thus, NY To LA and Summer ring as the painfully derivative calls for liberation and summer freedom that are guaranteed to go down a storm at festivals and parties (alongside the conspicuously convenient release date), and make The Hunna seem even more calculating to anyone outside of that very small sphere.
And sure, you can say it’s harsh to fault a band for playing to their target audience, the sort of thing bands have been doing since the beginning of time, but when The Hunna make it so blindingly obvious and have barely earned the right to even try it in the first place, that’s worth calling out. If Dare was any worse, The Hunna would be prime contenders for the public crucifixion that so many of their influences and peers have had to endure; as it currently stands, it’s a mediocre indie album that’s not worth the attention The Hunna want it to get.
For fans of: Catfish And The Bottlemen, Blossoms, The Sherlocks
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Dare’ by The Hunna is out now on 300 Entertainment.