A horrible hack

Pigeon Hunt


Year Released: 2013
Format: 10"
Label: Spelling Trouble
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Oct 22, 2013
Mysterious Finns PIGEON HUNT have produced a neatly packaged 10" here in which they play their cards close to their chest: it's self-titled, tracks are given Roman numerals from I to VIII, no lyrics, not even names of band members... all I can tell you is that one of them has a HIS HERO IS GONE tattoo on his chest, thanks to the inside cover showing four shirtless guys wearing what look like Saddam Hussein devil masks. I'll put Miss Marple onto that clue while I tell you about the music. (psst, allegedly the band includes ex-members of KYLMÄ SOTA and ENDSTAND...)

The tunes show off a punchy mix of the high fretboard jitters of emo-hardcore and the straight-up rhythmic bludgeoning of a band well-versed in more straightforward hardcore. Vocals are mid-range and yelled rather than screechy: the tension levels stay ratcheted up throughout. The whole thing is well recorded, drums in particular are very crisp and the mix sounds great.

Track I is a short taster, with careering high octave chords and the only really audible lyrics of the record: "Go fuck yourself." Track II stretches out a little more, with some discordant chords, hard-hitting drums, and an expansive tom-driven breakdown which really comes together well, showing off effective transitions and thought-through songwriting. Elsewhere it doesn't always come together so successfully, though, the stop-start rhythms of track III and sudden drop-off into a similarly tangled chuggy slow part coming off a bit stilted. Around track IV I start being reminded of a less out there GUYANA PUNCH LINE, without the blown-out production or provocative lyrics. I'm disappointed by the lack of a lyric sheet - I need to know what they're so pissed off about, and a few good lyrics could have laid my suspicions to rest about a slight whiff of trendiness surrounding the record.

The second side has a similar selection of twisty little repetitive riffs that feel sort of clenched and high up the fretboard - these become a little interchangeable after a while, but they do make for a very effective contrast when the band crashes into one of their standout slower mosh parts / breakdowns (e.g. track V). The vocals continue their expressive mutation through screeches, growls and howls, track VI particularly impressive. Through side 2 it also becomes clear that the general guitar style, albeit accomplished and fast moving, is pretty restrained. The majority of the riffs are built on power chords and octave chords and there's relatively little textural experiment - the octave chords get a little over-used for my taste.

Overall well executed, a lot to admire, but as a whole not quite pushing my buttons. Considering that this is the vinyl version of their debut tape, though, I'd definitely keep an eye out for where they go next.

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