Heavy Hands of Hunters
The Shorebirds making a second album? You would think that after their big record deal gone bad would push them into a point of quitting or becoming shepherds. But look at them now. Mark Ephraim got a girl his own age, reportedly quit the bad stuff, and now he's writing songs that recall the ever so joyous benefits of partying over and over again until the novacaine of boredom sets in. The Shorebirds still carry heavy, beefy, cranked up sound in the opening track 'Camera Lens', self produced as usual by Mark Ephraim, who is known for producing countless gems for other Brooklyn heroes including Dirty on Purpose, J.A.C.K., and Turner Cody to name a few... Whatever, this record sounds as bold as love in a handbag with it's well crafted guitar interplay and psych backup vocals that make the country style track 'Background Laughter' sound like Brian Eno writing a song in prison with Johnny Cash as his cell mate. The Heavy Hands of Hunters is different; it's dirty, edgy, and takes the protools out of the picture with unedited first take sounding guitar riffs and some vocal lines that sound like Mark Ephraim recorded them whilst waiting for the kettle to whistle. Guitarists Dan Weber and Mark get to show off, while bassist Sara Press provides the momentum that makes the Shorebirds an evil groove band. They've never kicked harder than 'Shiver' which turns the old Dick Dale riff into a surf-metal anthem hook, or 'Alligator' which jumps like Iggy Pop in 'Lust for Life.' The music is full of half stories that leave a bit to the imagination....imagine that?. 'Hovering Light' has wurlitzer and guitar that sounds like a California drive along the 101, and in 'I Kept The Reciept,' Mark Eprhaim demonstrates that he can do an accurate lowdown intimate approach to Leonard Cohen's 'Avalanche', though a quite brave attempt, he finds his own person in doing so. The Shorebirds rhythms definitely take you down a few different avenues unlike the four four sound of their Brooklyn neighbors by employing hillbilly shuffles to 'Background Laughter' and downbeat shoegaze with 'Dealer' that bring the album full circle. The Heavy Hands of Hunters set out to entertain with it's packaging of playful artwork and booklet illustrated by Ariel Chriqui, and global rock guitar riffs interweaved with slop rock jams pulled in with craft, makes one think they could give a damn about the so called industry. Apparently they were made an offer that they could refuse and continue on as a strong unit as a result.