Pop Montreal Review: Hunter-Gatherer, October 1, Phonopolis

(Panic Manual) Hunter-Gatherer

Montreal – Free shows in record stores can be a good thing.  For one thing, they’re free.  Another good thing is it gives you something to do before the band goes on – browsing for records.  Back home in Toronto, I enjoy checking out shows at Sonic Boom or Soundscapes, so I figured why not check out  a good indie music store in Montreal?  The real draw for this show was Braids, a Montreal band I caught this past summer and quite enjoyed.  On the bill before them was Calgary’s Hunter-Gatherer, who packed their barrage of various instruments into the back of Phonopolis’ tiny basement.  It was a fairly packed room, which meant it was very, very hot down there.  October should not be this hot, especially indoors.  Because it was so hot, I only stuck around for about four songs, but those four songs gave me a good sense of what Hunter-Gatherer are about … or maybe it didn’t.  Before their set, they mentioned how they were playing without monitors.  This combined with the fact that they were starting late and the fact that they were playing in a tiny basement meant that I couldn’t be sure whether the ramshackle nature of their feedback filled set was intentional or not. 

The band’s Pop Montreal bio describes their sound as “nervy, high energy pop” and mentions their “ADD-addled arrangements.”  I could definitely see what they mean as this stuff shifted gears from moment to moment within the course of one song.  During their third song, I felt the band was really starting to hit their stride.  It had a bouncy rhythm and some yelpy, Pavement style vocals.  Then the “ADD-addled” part kicked in and they switched gears into an Eric’s Trip style thrashy segment.  Their next song was another good one, sounding almost like an indie-fied version of some lost ’70s AM radio pop song.  Then it got too hot for me and I had to leave, deciding not to go back down there for Braids.  Regardless, what I saw of Hunter-Gatherer showed some promise. 

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Pop Montreal

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