Act II... - The Dear Hunter


The Dear Hunter’s “Act II: The Meaning of & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading” is so damn good that I find myself thinking of it while listening to other, lesser albums. Please don’t tell.

And what a bizarre, sprawling work to have jump into your head in jealousy. Symphonic, orchestral, at times churchy, at times poppy, at times rock ‘n’ roll. No, it’s not white-bread. It doesn’t go down as easy as Eve 6’s Horrorscope. No, it isn’t classical either so don’t go whining about it. “Act II” definitely bangs, and hard.

The easier points of entry are probably the last half tracks “Smiling Swine” and “Red Hands”, but the last minute of “The Bitter Suite 3: Embrace” is just off the charts slinky. Woodblocks clink, chants come in and out, and crazy 5-part chorus vocals haunt and delayed/phasered guitar wails. Maybe the things you’ve read so far lead you to believe that this is some cultish shit. Maybe you’re right.

I’m tempted to compare “Act II” to a film in scope, but that metaphor doesn’t quite fit. It’s more apt to say it’s a musical or a drama of some kind. One could easily imagine dialogue and costumes and a choir mixed in with the proggy guitars and irregular time signatures.

To me, this isn’t just an album, it’s a show.

Sounds like: lust, blood, revenge, audiotragedy

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