The Hunches

Portland band The Hunches have been pounding the road for several years now, and Exit Dreams marks their third full-length record - out on label indie In The Red. Opener Unraveling defines the band well, combining a Punk Rock sensibility with something of an epic rock ambition, illustrating best what the US contributed to Punk Rock. The band maintain that early 80's disaffection with the mainstream and charge on with their battle-cry cranked up past 10.

Unfortunately the production falls way short of the ambition and the record sounds like it was recorded on an ansaphone. In the 80s. DIY bands like No Age have harnessed both the limitations of their available technology AND their lo-fi influences - and turned them into something extra, but here the production just makes me not want to bother listening.

From This Window plods through the fuzz, while any hint of charm is distorted away on Swim Hole. Not Invited threatens to break the curse, but just can't lift itself high enough. I don't know what the deal is with the raft of badly produced records we have seen recently. Is it a trademark sound? With technology where it is, it's hard to believe that you could accidentally make a record sound this bad.