The Dear Hunter
The Dear Hunter is a side project of Casey Crescenzo of post-hardcore band The Receiving End of Sirens. No idea what I’m talking about? I didn’t either, but fortunately Wikipedia has all the trivia a man could ever need.
Anyway, apparently Casey had gathered some materials that didn’t fit the band’s more straight-forward style, so he started messing around on the side. The result: a very ambitious project with high intensity, curious lyrics and surprising diversity.
At times, the Dear Hunter sounds like the Mars Volta, only it has a much better sense of direction. The music’s intensity and guitar work is also very reminiscent of Oceansize’s Everyone into Position and Dredg’s El Cielo.
The band has a trilogy of albums, divided in “acts”, which are comprised of nearly three hours worth of music. Throughout the acts, the band explores various musical realms such as different kinds of classical music, cabaret and bizarre folk music. These styles are mostly presented in short runs that relate to the lyrical concept of the trilogy, but they do make things a lot more interesting.
Thrice, a band that’s been around since 1998 but I’ve only discovered them now, is also a good example of how alternative progressive rock should be played. I enjoyed listening to the Dredgy sounds, especially after listening to the horrible new Dredg album (what the hell were they thinking?!)
Bear in mind, this band is not very consistent in quality; I’d stay clear of their older material, which includes more shouting and less actual music, and listen to their 2009 release Beggars, which presents a wonderful combination between powerful riffs and soft vocals. Again, this is very El Cielo, and it also reminds me a bit of Anekdoten and Khoma.
Pissing Contest Between Alternative Progressive Rock Bands?
Surprisingly enough, Thrice has also released a Tetralogy called The Alchemy Index! The set is comprised of four volumes: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. However, the four-CD set is actually shorter than the Dear Hunter’s trilogy, so… there’s that.
I actually came across Thrice when I Googled the word to watch a video of Conan’s campaign of promoting the word. Funny how things turn out. Check it out too, while you’re at it. (Coco rules)