[sic] Magazine

Bare Hunter – Freedom EP

Well, here’s something new. Renowned blues-rock aficionados Bare Hunter are back and they have something of a surprise in the tank for EP opener, “We’re Not Alone”, is simply knockout … and for a couple of reasons! The London-based power trio usually have a knack for heavy, Zeppelin-style breakdowns and harmonica freak-outs, but here they turn in a funky New Wave groove, frontman Robbie Humphries’ louche, gravelly vocal seducing the regular beat with alarming frequency. A surprise, sure, but it’s also a revelation, the track winding itself up on whip-crack percussion and killer choruses. A huge, hard-hitting indie dancefloor filler then (albeit one with a nice bout of weirdo showboating propping up the middle section), there’s an absolutely banging radio edit to be found in here somewhere and make no mistake.

Reverting quickly back to type though, guitarist Roger James and drummer Jack Lineham then help guide the listen into a strutting and crunching, pretty minimal template of bass, drums and squealing harmonica. Accordingly, the inevitably named “Boaty McBoatface (Still Holding On)” works itself into a theatrical fervour early doors, setting the tempo for the swirl of psychedelics that comes next on the otherwise folksy-indebted, classic rock sound of “The Mountain Song”. Altogether simpler, “Questions” in turn has ideas of Sabbath slaying, sashaying around a slow-moseying vocal that’s submitted to a series of disorientating effects while the whammy bar well and truly comes out for the slinkily stomping title-track that brings down the curtain. With all that in mind, whether the outlying opener’s a wonderous one-off or a strong hint at what’s to come we really can’t tell you. Nonetheless, when we consider that Freedom is rarely free, here’s a hook that’s certainly worth paying for.

Best track: “We’re Not Alone”

~The Freedom EP is out now.~