(01.2009, In the Red)
Verdict = First great surprise of 2009
I have a knack for catching great bands on their deathbed. Apparently, The Hunches have been around for awhile despite their sparse back catalog; however, Exit Dreams is indeed the bands final effort. I’d never heard of them so that didn’t mean anything to me until I gave Exit Dreams a good few spins. Sure every band must die, but it is pretty bittersweet when you’ve just been introduced; just getting those first giddy butterflies and then – boom – they’re supposedly gone. Well, in any case, they couldn’t have gone out on a better note because Exit Dreams is super dreamy. At first I just figured it was a continuation of the lo-fi mainstream kick started last year but that was a sore understatement for the dimension of this record. The Hunches are equal parts punk fervor and pop genius harkening back to the early nineties when lo-fi wasn’t necessarily intentional but still harnessed into a glorious musical weapon. The Hunches also have this little nineties alt-rock undercurrent that pits them shoulder to shoulder with Pavement, The Pixies and early Weezer as quickly as it does with like minded contemporaries like Women, Iran and The Hospitals. I don’t know why I always get stuck comparing bands (ok, I do, I’m just not very good at describing music), but The Hunches are strong enough to be their own reference. The bottom line is that Exit Dreams has no weak tracks, just robust punk informed indie rock jams with a little extra umph in the form of grainy riffs, lockjaw drums and tuneless vocals. It’s all pretty sweet and definitely a must listen, even this early in the year. It is too bad that it is their swan song, but by the sounds of it, Exit Dreams was destined to by listened to with an air of sentimental yearning for the golden years of indie rock.
The Hunches - "Your Sick Blooms"