Album Review: Hunting Grounds - In Hindsight

28 June 2012 | 3:08 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

In Hindsight proves it’s possible for a band to evolve without alienating diehard fans.

Kicking off with the moody title track, which lifts you up and carries you away on an epic astral travel, In Hindsight immediately promises great things from the band formerly known as Howl. When people are jumping up and down about what you're doing anyway, it takes courage to adjust the musical template. But there's talent to spare within the ranks of this Ballarat sextet: Hunting Grounds now boasts three accomplished alternating vocalists, who all bring entirely different personalities to their respective tracks, as well as multiple songwriters (keys master Galen Strachan makes his songwriting and lead singing debut on this release).

Standout track Kill My Friends bolts through your speakers like a runaway racehorse whose nosebag's been laced with crank, Lachlan Morrish's abrasive yowls varying in intensity. The song's breakdown is stripped back to incidental keys and drumstick clicks, which lure you into a false sense of peace before the encore aural assault. In Colour, the single Hunting Grounds released as an album teaser last July, is a pause in the space-time continuum, simultaneously leafing through Howl's yearbook while Hunting Grounds chart future killer tracks. The stunning Wings is a shimmering, soaring romantic ode that shares lyrical themes with There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths. The band's lyricism always veers away from the obvious: “Swimming in a rip tide/There's no elegance in suicide.

This debut longlayer showcases a bunch of ridiculously talented mates who never let ego get in the way of realising a song's full potential. It's part Animal Collective with a touch of The Horrors, but producer Paul 'Woody' Annison is the whisperer that tames this six-headed beast. In Hindsight proves it's possible for a band to evolve without alienating diehard fans.