23 Oct 2019
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  • Hunt The Witch - Gig Review: Hunt the Witch @ The Mayfair, New Plymouth - 20/07/2019

Hunt The Witch - Gig Review: Hunt the Witch @ The Mayfair, New Plymouth - 20/07/2019

14 Aug 2019 // A review by Emily Riordan
Auckland four-piece rock outfit Hunt the Witch brought their 'Strange Gods' tour to New Plymouth’s Mayfair on July 20th, promoting the album of the same name. Strange Gods is Hunt the Witch’s first full-length release, following 2015’s EP Into the Black and 2017’s single Afterburner. Joining them for the night were local favourites Radio Therapy and Dark Water.

Radio Therapy open the show with little fuss, warming up the initially small and quiet crowd by the end of their first song. They play a musical flavour of punk - at times reminiscent of Green Day - with their strength being their lead vocalist, Renee Leishman. Having a female vocalist on its own sets Radio Therapy apart from most similar punk/rock, but Leishman’s powerful, emotive voice sits perfectly in the mix, cutting through the grunt of the bass and power chords.

Dark Water take the stage next, bringing a more subdued energy and more complex musicality to the table. Between only three musicians on the stage, they make a full and bassy sound, never boring and often experimental. Most of their songs are led by guitar riffs that play with unusual tonality - while they're not necessarily catchy they have that certain appeal often ascribed to bands like Tool, where the sound is more enjoyable with each listen.

Finally, the headliners Hunt the Witch begin their set. They quickly establish a fairly standard rock sound that centres their vocalist, Sam Whitley. Whitley has a strong voice with a dramatic edge - almost like an alternate reality Ozzy Osbourne who found his fame in musical theatre. There is impressive power and range here, along with the capacity for great dynamic range. As a frontman Whitley is casual but commanding - he seems to be enjoying himself and is making polite small talk with the crowd between numbers.

As the set progresses it graduates to a heavier, more metal sound, featuring some great breakdowns and guitar solos. They play for a bit over an hour, never losing energy or tightness and indulging the crowd's cries for more at the very end.

It was a long night but a good one - Hunt the Witch and their openers all offer different takes on rock that make for a great show together. While a midwinter show in an out of the way city like New Plymouth is almost never going to draw a huge crowd, the few dozen that made it out were treated to a high energy display of musical prowess. No doubt new fans were won over and Hunt the Witch's next visit will draw even more.


Photos courtesy of Jenny Feaver.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Hunt The Witch

Auckland band Hunt The Witch began when Bevan Carbines (guitar) and Anthony Lakin (bass) started jamming on ideas in 2013 where a solid foundation of heavy sonic riffs were laid.

Jason Peters (drums and formally of Pumpkinhead) joined a while later and they continued to write songs as a three piece.

The last ingredient required was vocals and so Sam Whitley entered into the fray, whose vocal range, personality and writing abilities were the glue needed to complete the line up, from the first rehearsal it was crystal clear that the line up was going to work well together.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hunt The Witch

Releases

Strange Gods
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Into The Black
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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