The Hunches

THE HUNCHES
YES NO SHUT IT
IN THE RED

The Hunches are pretty—pretty loud, pretty messy and pretty raw. Supposedly, this is already getting tagged as the worst-recorded album of the year. But underneath the feedback gonorrhea and the Hoover upright backing tracks are some tore-up, heartsick, sweet little R&B ballads that died before their time, only to wake up in the white-hot hell that is the Hunches repertoire—you can bury me with the entire Crypt reissue catalog, but slip Yes No Shut It between my wormy paws before you start scooping in the gravel. The garage-y howl-alongs that got their single out of every record store in town before you even woke up do just fine on this full-length, but it's the slowed-down, beat-up rock & roll—the softer side of the Hunches?—that really claws its way into your heart. At their best, the Hunches are the lost snippets of tape from the Pagans' Pink Album—and that's praise below only backseat handjobs, in terms of l-u-v and messy cleanups. They've even got a blurry Velvet Underground bite of their own—"Lisa Told Me," with a nice nod in the title—to go along with such starlight-through-smog tenderness as "Static Disaster" and "Explosion." There's something almost charming behind the Hunches' blown speakers—the loud parts are great, but the real romance is in the settling dust between the drumbeats.

 
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