I don’t know about you, but personally, I’ve always been a fan of bands that incorporate animals into their names. Why, you ask? I don’t actually know. Fortunately, that’s not even close to the point! The point is that The Dear Hunter is awesome, and I want everyone to love them as much as I do. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “The Dear Hunter? You foolish girl you! You obviously mean ambient punk band Deerhunter!” Sorry, kiddos, but for once I got it right the first time.
The Dear Hunter is a five person progressive rock group from Boston whose strong melodic vocals and sensual lyrics literally make me go weak in the knees. The band first began as a side project of lead singer Casey Crescenzo, former member of Boston based band The Receiving End of Sirens. The Dear Hunter was originally intended to be nothing more than a vehicle for music that Casey had written that did not exactly fit into the heavier sounds of The Receiving End of Sirens; however, after recording the Dear Ms. Leading demos, things quickly changed. After playing their first show with The Receiving End of Sirens in February of 2006, it was not long before Casey quit the band to focus on The Dear Hunter’s first full length album Act I: The Lake South, The River North.
Act I: The Lake South, The River North is the first of an eventual six act story about the birth, life, and sudden death of a young boy. From beginning to end there is literally not one thing about this album that is anything less than remarkable. The album begins with a gorgeous a capella arrangement entitled "Battesimo Del Fuoco". Flawless vocals and beyond brilliant harmonies make this track the perfect introduction to The Dear Hunter’s incredible story. As the album continues, vocally, lyrically, and musically, it only gets better and better. The fourth track on the album, "The Inquiry of Ms. Terry", is one that seriously gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. I physically cannot even begin to describe the intensity of Crescenzo’s vocals throughout the entirety of this song. The only word I can think of that even comes close might just be “sextactular”. Another track on this album that I feel is particularly worth mentioning is "The Pimp and the Priest". This song is just sexy in every way possible. With lyrics like “conquer your sins while she screams on her back” it is almost impossible to not get a little worked up while listening to this song.
Equal in sensuality to Act I, The Dear Hunter’s second full length, Act II: The Meaning of and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, is more than worth listening to on repeat for weeks at a time. What’s that? I’m the only one who does that? Well, this is awkward. Anyways, it’s honestly very difficult for me to choose specific tracks from this album to tell you all about because the entire album, much like Act I, is so beautifully done. However, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to tell you about a few songs regardless! One of my personal favorites has got to be "The Oracles on the Delphi Express". This was the first song that I ever heard by The Dear Hunter per suggestion of my douche bag ex-boyfriend. Well, at least he was good for one thing. In all seriousness though, I adore this song. I imagine that upon listening to this track, you’ll kind of wish you were on a train. I know I do. I personally think that’s the point, but who knows; I could just be crazy! Basically, this particular song is just great all around. Another favorite from Act II is definitely "Smiling Swine". This track incorporates more of an upbeat sort of tone along with The Dear Hunter’s usual strong lyrics and unblemished vocals. It is definitely safe to say that "Smiling Swine" is one of the few songs by The Dear Hunter that makes me want to dance. Possibly my favorite song by The Dear Hunter at the moment has got to be track ten on this album, "Blood of the Rose". I think the reason that I’ve grown so attached to this song lies in the lyrics to the chorus. “Sing; sing unto me the pleasure and the pain. Reveal to me the reasons my loves not in vain.” I feel like these words really strike a chord with me and there’s a good chance that this is why I’ve had this song on repeat for the past few weeks.
I literally listened to The Dear Hunter’s third full length, Act III: Life and Death, for about thirty seconds before I was already completely in love with it. I think it’s safe to say that if I had to list the top ten best albums I’ve ever heard, Act III would be pretty close to the top. A fast favorite was definitely "The Tank". As soon as this song began I immediately knew I was going to absolutely adore it—I was right. Crescenzo’s powerful voice displays its full potential in this song going from almost screaming in the beginning and transitioning into soft soothing vocals that once again give me goose bumps. "Mustard Gas" is quite possibly one of the only songs ever that has drawn me in more with the actual music than with the lyrics and/or vocals. In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m all about the vocal and lyrical aspects of music. However, in this case it was the powerful background music that immediately grabbed my attention. If any of you have ever listened to the Trans Siberian Orchestra (I have because I was a band geek in high school), that’s what I would compare a lot of the music in this song to. Probably the most sensual song I’ve heard by The Dear Hunter so far has definitely got to be "He Said He Had a Story". Seriously, this song is just hot. I really cannot think of a better way to describe it other than “sextactular”, again. Basically, if you want to listen to The Dear Hunter and feel a little turned on at the same time, listen to this song.
Although there is not much information on The Dear Hunter’s Act IV, it has been said that it is on the way. However, the guys have not left us completely empty handed. Their most recent release, a three song EP entitled Branches, is part of an exclusive fan club package that includes exclusive band information as well as a lifetime pass to any concert for the rest of the bands career. All that for only $125?! Sign me up! Only not really; I’m a broke college kid! Anyways, I won’t get into as much detail about this EP because you’re just going to have to hear it for yourselves, but I feel that I should mention for all you die hard LOST fans out there that the first track on Branches is called "B. Linus", and it’s awesome. Just sayin’.
If all of this hasn’t convinced you to at least give The Dear Hunter a rock solid try then I have definitely failed at my job and you don’t want me to feel like a failure, right? In all seriousness though, this band is amazing on so many different levels. If you like powerful vocals and sensual lyrics accompanied by some of the most talented musicians in the business, then I don’t understand why you’re even still reading this and not Google searching The Dear Hunter right this very second.