Dark (EP)

Hunting Lions

Pirates Press Records, 2023


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I was so impressed with Light, which was also released this year by the Bay Area all-start punk rock outfit Hunting Lions, that I knew I had to devote some time to this companion EP. As the title suggests, it is indeed darker affair, but necessarily in an absolute sense, as both loss and renewal surround the energetic and anthemic punk rock formula.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The five-song listen gets off to a thumping start, where driving and gritty punk'n'roll of “The City” is met with melodic singing and exceptional bass lines, as gang vocals and brief calm moments address the widening socio-economic gap where Hunting Lions reside.

“Kota” and “War” land in the middle, where the former brings both power and grit to the optimistic demeanor that’s hard hitting yet tuneful. The latter is fast and furious, and examines the diminishing culture in urban America and benefits much from the chunky and meticulous rhythm section, not to mention front man Ben Coleman’s exceptional singing.

The back half of the record presents the harmonic guitar solos and raw punk rock spirit of “BNO,” and “Dead Generation” exits with infectious sing-alongs and a bouncy, ultra-melodic appeal that’s as timeless as it is memorable

The resume Hunting Lions have is excellent, as they’ve played in bands like The Swingin’ Utters, Roadside Bombs, The Beltones, US Bombs and Tiger Army, plus others. They bring influences from those outfits, plus nods to Social Distortion, Thin Lizzy and Ramones along for five songs that will have you quickly interested in finding their other release this year.

For the collectors among you, this release is pressed on a one-sided 12” slab of black vinyl, while the B-side is printed with a matte varnish that delivers a two-tone effect though it’s completely black.

Rating: A

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© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pirates Press Records, and is used for informational purposes only.