Hunters, Run!

Forgotten Souvenirs of the Modern Age

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The second album by Brooklyn indie rockers Hunters, Run! buries a number of genuinely interesting musical ideas under a sheen of affected hipsterism. Listened to casually, Forgotten Souvenirs of the Modern Age sounds way too much like just another batch of overeducated kids playing with ProTools in a Williamsburg loft, a first impression that isn't helped at all by the album's flat, affectless production. Fight past the bland too cool for schoolness, however, and singer/songwriter Larry Hess proves to have a more interesting set of influences than many of his contemporaries -- the melodic complexity of prime XTC circa Black Sea and English Settlement and late-era Hüsker Dü and Replacements, when Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg were unpeeling emotional truths behind their wall of feedback, for starters -- and is able to transform those into a batch of varied and tuneful songs with wittily evocative lyrics. Highlights include the title track, the album's most instantly memorable tune, and the Feelies-like jangle and swoon of "Union, CT," as well as the atmospheric darkness of the skeletal closer, "It Was Then That I Realized Even This Would End." Forgotten Souvenirs of the Modern Age does take several listens to decode, but the rewards are worth the effort.

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