November 30, 2017 The Dear Hunter – All Is As All Should Be (EP Review)
Dear friends and comrades have come together to create joyous music, an amalgamation of sounds that is always passionate and, not surprisingly, wildly infectious and fun. Get ready to stuff a good friend’s stocking with The Dear Hunter’s brand-spanking-new EP, All Is As All Should Be, which arrives on Friday, December 1, 2017 thanks to the good little birdies at Cave and Canary Goods.
The Dear Hunter should not be confused with Deerhunter: the former – and the subject of this particular review – hail from Providence, Rhode Island, where they formed in 2005. Largely considered a Progressive Rock outfit, The Dear Hunter generously molest a multitude of genres, running the gamut from Progressive to Indie to Experimental and even tossing in a dabbling of Post-Hardcore.
It is also worth noting that Vocalist Casey Crescenzo began the band as a then-side-project while still performing with the phenomenal The Receiving End of Sirens, whose 2005 release Between the Heart and the Synapse is definitely worth digging out or downloading!
The Dear Hunter are a collaborative of multi-talented musicians, comprised of Vocalist and Multi-Instrumentalist Casey Crescenzo, Multi-Instrumentalist Maxwell Tousseau, Guitarist/Keyboardist Robert Parr, Bassist Nick Sollecito, Drummer Nick Crescenzo, and Keyboardist Gavin Castleton. Having toured the world with the uniquely eclectic likes of Saves the Day, Say Anything, Thrice, Ours, and CHON, The Dear Hunter are an established act with a plethora of musical offerings to their name and an international fan-base. With seven full-length studio offerings to their credit – from 2006’s Act I: The Lake South, The River North to 2016’s Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional – along with two live albums and literally a bazillion EPs, All Is As All Should Be is the band’s fourteenth EP and twenty-fourth recording over all. What that all amounts to is a band with something to say, and who know damned well how to say it with sonic finesse!
The new EP, All Is As All Should Be, is a six-song collection that was produced by Casey Crescenzo and came together in a truly unique manner. Reaching out to six friends/fans for lyrical input and general musical vibes, Crescenzo then took the offered words and auras of sonic wisdom, patched them together, and created the squares that encompass the quilt of the new EP. When it came time to record each piece of the puzzle, what better way to capture spontaneous magic than to record each track in the homes of the individuals who personally helped to shape their concepts? The end result is a collection of sonic magic where all is truly as all should be!
From the first burst of “The Right Wrong,” The Dear Hunter grab their listeners and drag them down the rabbit hole to a journey that crosses genres fluidly, passionately and with a zest that is decidedly lacking in many of today’s musicians. Stellar vocals and fluid harmonies blend to formulate an Indie rocker with some jam band sensibilities patched in to create the feel of sitting beside the fire with loved ones, strumming away the madness of the world. “Blame Paradise” then injects funky experimentalism into the mix, always laced with melody and that steady, driving beat, while “Beyond The Pale” is a soaring journey that is massive in its layered sounds. Both are mind-blowing, even if you do not know that they were recorded in someone’s living room!
“Shake Me (Awake)” is the infectious little ditty that bounces between Pop Rock and something much more, ahem, intelligent with a solid anchor seated in the Folk set. What that all amounts to is one damned catchy track that reminds us to ignore the haters through layered harmonies that will make your hips shake and your lips quirk up a smile.
Multiple layers create a bespelling, self-affirming enchantment in “Witness Me,” an emphatic dance of passion that sees The Dear Hunter pleading to be present in the now, urge the continuation of the dream, and hope that this will all be witnessed. Album namesake “All Is As All Should Be” is a soaring and impassioned finale, that final intricate and biting blow to the senses. A meandering tale that pauses to hope that, perhaps, when all is as all should be, you will be able to see through another’s eyes. Psst, we civilians call that empathy, kids!
It is nearly impossible to pick a standout track from All Is As All Should Be, as every one of the six tracks is a stellar creation in its own right with a fully unique feel. From Indie to Experimental, Folk tickles to jamming excursions, this is the perfect collection for die-hard fans, as well as a superb opportunity to lure in some new converts for the cause. How can you say no to killer melodies and infectious tales that fluidly cross genres and always implore the senses? Still shaking our heads and snapping our fingers, CrypticRock give The Dear Hunter’s All Is As All Should Be 5 of 5 stars.