The Hunches Wanna Make Albums That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'
With the aid of everything from a scrap metal-filled Radio Flyer
Wagon to a Irish tin flute, from washboards to wrenches, Portland,
Ore.'s frighteningly raw punk rock band The Hunches recently wrapped
up a week-long session at L.A.'s The Distillery Recording Studio for
the follow-up to last year's well-received debut Yes. No. Shut
It. (In the Red Records). The new album, tentatively titled
Hobo Sunrise, scheduled to be out on In the Red in the spring,
incorporates a whole slew of noisemakers and injects a slight
psychedelic tinge into the band's heavy, trashy sound.
"Some of the songs are more psychedelic and some are just depressing
(in a good way)," drummer Ben Spencer wrote in an email. "There's
plenty of noise and trash and speed as well it's gonna be a
pretty schizophrenic album."
In addition to the traditional guitar-bass-drums lineup, The Hunches
singer Hart Gledhill, bassist Sarah Epstein, guitarist Chris
Gunn and Spencer also used sheet metal, maracas, cowbell,
crickets, tambourine and a Halloween-monster voice changer.
There was no question when it came down to who The Hunches wanted to
work with for their second full-length. "Fuck anyone else [The
Distillery founder/engineer] Mike McHugh is a genius, complete and
utter genius," Gledhill said in an interview at a Portland
neighborhood bar a few days before the band left for California to
begin recording with McHugh.
"The new stuff turned out really good," Spencer wrote upon return.
"The production is a bit bigger still raw, but you can
actually hear the instruments and whatnot."
Which, after they'd delivered a manic, feedback-immersed debut, is a
bit of a shift for The Hunches. But with honesty and soul and,
frankly, still loads of feedback at the foundation of their
music, it's not the slight alterations in sound that matter as much
as their foremost goal: "To make the albums that's gonna fucking live
forever," Gledhill said. "We made a staple album before, and now it's
pretty much to make something that's even better."
Ask In the Red label founder Larry Hardy, and he'd say they did that
and then some. "I'm very excited about this album," he wrote
in an email. "I thought their debut would be nearly impossible to top
but that's exactly what they did."
Inspired by labelmates the Cheater Slicks, garage/proto-punks
Electric Eels and The Mirrors, The Hunches' riotous punk-rock noise
finds a soulful strut in its R&B influence and wild originality in
the innovative, bleeding hearts that drive it. Yes. No. Shut
It. credits a Hoover vacuum cleaner for heaving distorted backup
roars and other metal scraps for spewing literal garage thrash into
the mix while the band blasts through swaggering, wailing songs of
explosions, disasters and, of course, a little love and confusion.
"Our goal is to make the best album we can do right now; to make an
album that we like considering the fact that we hate everything
else," Gunn said at the tavern.
"Exactly, you're right!" Gledhill chimed in. "We're gonna make
ourselves an album that we can listen to if anyone's doing it
for any other reason then fuck them." Jenny Tatone [Thursday,
October 16, 2003]