Album Review: Hunting Grounds - In Hindsight

3 August 2012 | 10:38 am | Cate Summers

Hunting Grounds should be commended for such an impressive debut.

As the graceful reverb of guitars float around him, vocalist Michael Belsar chants out on Hunting Grounds' title track, “It's clear where we are going/I feel it's nowhere”. If their debut album, In Hindsight is anything to go by, the last place this sextet from Ballarat is going is nowhere.

Their debut sees a distinct shift in sound for the group, who have moved from their punk-inspired roots to a more mature and atmospheric new-wave sound. In Hindsight has been a long time coming, but from the opening track it's clear that it was worth the wait. Lead single, Flaws, is a catchy little number that reflects the control the band has developed over the past three years; the song progresses through highs and lows, through noise and silence with a newly gained maturity. The fast-paced Kill My Friends is a throwback to the band's origins, and the heavier sound and faster tempo of the song sits nicely amongst the other slower tracks. Similarly, In Colour is a compromise between grungy garage-rock and the indie-rock sound the boys have been moving towards.

In Hindsight isn't a completely flawless album. It sometimes sounds like a push/pull scenario is taking place, where the band isn't sure whether to look back towards its roots or to move forward with their newly-developed sound. This lack of cohesion isn't problematic as such, it just highlights areas for improvement for the band in the future. As a whole Hunting Grounds should be commended for such an impressive debut.