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When the Dear Hunter came to San Francisco recently, they took some time before their show at Slim's to talk to GP about the making of their latest record. You can hear what they had to say about a couple of tunes and then watch them perform them. Plus, you can check out the review of their record that was in the Sept. issue of Guitar Player.
The Dear Hunter
Act III: Life and Death
This is not a guitar album. What it is, is a great example of getting away with a ton bold guitar work that is always in service of the song. Guitarists Erick Serna and Andy Wildrick dish out cool part after cool part on tunes that range from heavy to poppy to scary to sad and back again. Clanging stabs in “The Tank” reside beautifully alongside gorgeous string textures before morphing into pseudo-mandolin tremolo picking. Period-correct WWI beer-hall acoustic work permeates “The Poison Woman,” and creepy ring-modulator tones kick off “The Thief.” Then they play cool, snaky fuzz-tone answers to the vocal line (as well as bubbling Leslie tones) in “In Cauda Venenum.” The most powerful guitar, however, might come in “Mustard Gas,” a riveting mix of power-chord chunks and acoustic fingerpicking against a bed of operatic vocals, massive strings, orchestral percussion, and piano. There is a grand theatricality to Act III that brings to mind Oingo Boingo, Queen, and Jellyfish. Make no mistake: The guitar playing is great. You just might not notice right away because this is such a great record. Triple Crown. —Matt Blackett