Album Review: Hunting Grounds - In Hindsight

9 July 2012 | 7:25 pm | Carley Hall

In Hindsight suffers only slightly from an approach that lacks guidance but shows off the band’s growth and mature approach to songwriting since their reincarnation.

In 2009, Ballarat sextet Howl took out triple j's inaugural Unearthed High competition with Blackout, an instant radio favourite that was a kind of Craig Nicholls take on bluesy rockabilly. Since then, two EPs and a significant name change have followed. Along with their new moniker, Hunting Grounds bring some depth and maturity to their long-awaited debut album In Hindsight. While it may seem to have taken an eternity for their first long-player to drop, it's clear the boys have taken stock, listened widely and honed in on exactly what sound makes them stand out as much as their first single did nearly three years ago.

For starters, the new name appears to have tracked the boys in a new, more subtle direction. The title track, for example, is a huge departure from the aggression of Blackout; it's a shoegazey wash of textural synths pulsing under the words “No idea where we are from/ It's clear where we are going/ I fear it's nowhere”. While they've loosened the reins and embraced surrounding influences, these simple lyrics speak some truth about the album's cohesion. A bigger space has been created and crammed with distorted guitars and chunky bass, with tracks like Flaws, Kill My Friends and single In Colour retaining that garage rock attack, but the collaborative effort amongst three vocalists hinders this sense of progression on Star Shards and Liquid Air. All Eyes cements their sound as their own with its lazy drawl, layers of noise and unrelenting pace.

Overall, In Hindsight suffers only slightly from an approach that lacks guidance but shows off the band's growth and mature approach to songwriting since their reincarnation.