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The sloshing, vitriolic musical madness of the Hunches

Wednesday, Sep 4 2002
Larry Hardy's In the Red Records bears partial responsibility for the upsurge in swampy, blues-influenced punk that's been sweeping the nation of late. Though none of the Burbank label's bands has the notoriety of the White Stripes, several groups -- Cheater Slicks, Speedball Baby, the Dirtbombs -- have been around longer and have attracted devoted followings. For this show, however, In the Red brings two of the imprint's newest additions -- the Hunches and the Hospitals, both Portland bands -- to town for their San Francisco debuts.

The Hunches formed less than two years ago, when childhood buddies Hart Glechill (vocals) and Chris Gunn (guitar) moved to Rose City from their hometown of Eugene, Ore. Hooking up with bassist Sarah Epstein -- whose previous band, the Roswells, had shared shows with theirs, the Conmen -- the two grabbed like-minded drummer Ben Spencer and put together a demo.

The Hunches sound perfect for In the Red. Like the rest of the label's stable, the group spits out a version of the blues that's a couple of generations removed from its source, coming not from the Delta or Chicago, but from the blues-rock icons of the '60s (and filtered through a buzz saw). The Hunches' slower songs could be lost ballads from Exile on Main St., infused with a swaggering New York Dolls strut. The group's fast numbers are even better, with Glechill sounding as if he's about to pass out from trying to stretch his voice thin enough to lasso the musical stampede.

The Hunches' full-length debut, Yes. No. Shut It. (due in November), is a perfect combination of exposed-nerve bashing, spastic axe-grinding, and mumbled, staggering vocalizing. In the Red defined this sloshing, vitriolic musical madness, and the Hunches ably spread the disease.

About The Author

Mark Murrmann


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