The Key Of Geek: The Dear Hunter ‘Migrant’

The Dear Hunter
CD | MP3
Cave & Canary Goods
Release Date: April 2, 2013

At this point in the evolution of Rock, fans have every reason to feel that they have heard it all before. It is just as easy to become a jaded listener as it is to be a jaded performer, turning out the same record over and over again as long as you make your money. There are those who defy this model however, and even the snobbiest of Rock connoisseurs have to sit up and take notice of the varied discography of The Dear Hunter.

Led by Casey Crescenzo, there are many different labels once could assign to the work of The Dear Hunter. Progressive Rock, Post-Hardcore, Alt/Punk/Metal, Melodic Hardcore, and many other distinct subgenre you can think of. One thing is for certain though; Crescenzo and company never make the same record twice. Every record the band has made so far is a concept record, be it a part of the records Act I – III of a planned six part opus, or 2011’s The Color Spectrum, a series of eight EPs, each dedicated to a different color and style of rock. This time around though, on the newly released Migrant, the concept is much simpler: Self-exploration.

Crescenzo has stated that this is his most personal album to date, and that feeling is evident right off the bat with the intimate “Bring You Down.” With swirling strings and a light touch of piano, the track crescendos from a gentle introduction to a thundering conclusion. The track sets the scene for the album perfectly, as it showcases all of what makes the record so special: Superb melody, tight harmony, punishing percussion, and chunky riffs that will all haunt you long after the record is over. The pair of singles released in advance of the record, “Whisper” and “An Escape” will definitely give longtime fans a taste of what they love the most from The Dear Hunter, with Crescenzo’s vocals alternating between sweet whisper and one of the best rock growl’s you will hear this year. In fact, you should pick up this album if for no other reason than Crescenzo’s vocals. As gifted as he is as a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, his vocal work on each of Migrant‘s twelve tracks is some of the best of his career.

Though the band can rock out with the best of them, it’s the quiet moments before the storm that give Migrant its identity. The pulsating track “The Kiss Of Life” is a great example of this, a half ballad half rock and roll confessional that will take you all over the map emotionally. The gentle swell of “Sweet Naiveté” over a bed of strings makes for one of the albums many highlights, a gentler track than most on the album, but it is no less enthralling a piece than any of its counterparts. Though many of the tracks do boast a softer side, Crescenzo certainly has not forsaken his edge. Look to the fuzzy glam rock guitar work on “Girl” for more of your hard rock fix. Towards the end of the record sits “Let Go,” a truly epic track that keeps the back half of the record as sterling as its beginning. Migrant closes with “Don’t Look Back,” a dark and somber country influenced tune that glides the album to its enthralling conclusion.

One thing to be applauded about Migrant is that it will serve as a great entry point for new listeners. It can be daunting to jump into a discography as diverse and intricate as The Dear Hunter’s, but Migrant‘s accessibility both melodically and conceptually should help any prospective fan get started. Which isn’t to say that it departs from the kind of music fans have come to expect, quite the contrary in fact. Fans who have come to trust Crescenzo’s artistic vision will have quite a lot to cheer about. With crisp production, transcendent melodies, and superior musicianship, Migrant is a record that is not to be missed.

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