One of the most exciting and dynamic bands in the antipodean region, in my humble opinion, Johnny Hunter, is back with another exciting release ‘Life’. This follows the July release of ‘The Floor’ (reviewed by me here) and last year’s EP ‘Early Trauma’ (reviewed here).
‘Life’ is infused with the same vitality and theatricality we have come to expect from the band: an eighties synth wash, razor sharp bass lines and sky high melodies that are studied and posed. The thunderous tenor vocals from the enigmatic Nick Hutt add a blinding lustre to the whole. This is such an exciting band that continues to push boundaries while tipping a hat to the indie post punk genes that form the spine to their music.
The band is as enigmatic and philosophical as ever in their comments about the track:
To find life is to find happiness, it is the ultimate end and purpose of our existence.
Life is not found in the darkness of the night, nor is it found in selfish ideals. It lies in the balance of the new day and how we approach our imperfections to bring balance to ourselves. The answer to The Floor, an ultimatum proposed to the self, to change or die, to sink or swim. The sun is shining, it’s time for change, appreciate what you have, know who you are and lose yourself in Life. Inspired by the moral dilemma I faced pulling beers for alcoholics to sustain a week to week pay cheque that was almost always whimsically spent on alcohol for myself. These people were dying right in front of my eyes (some did die) and I was joining them.
When Spandau Ballet were good, when Ultravox were at their highest peaks and when the later era goth-infused sounds of Interpol, White Lies and Editors drew their inspiration from Joy Division, all these sources can be faintly detected in the atmosphere when Johnny Hunter plays. And what an untrammeled joy that is.
The beautifully evocative lyrics embellish the intimate sense of yearning and melancholia that threads its way through the track:
If I don’t find life
I’ll be sinking like
Swimming with the dead
I’ll be killing you softly
Feature Photograph: Sam Horton