Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It was one of those instant connections when Derek Watson of Hunters came into the Horseshack den a few weeks ago and saw an old poster on the wall advertising a WWF wrestling card from the 1980s at the Wharton Fieldhouse, here in Moline, Illinois. Jim "Hacksaw" Duggan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage were on the bill and Watson immediately pointed out that the Macho Man was his guy. That was HIS guy back in the day. The conversation then went online, with emails afterward, him telling me about the Macho Man tee that he still has from when he was a kid and me volleying back about the WrestleMania shirt I found at a thrift store a few years ago from the year that Hulk Hogan body slammed Andre The Giant. It was a professional wrestling nerd-out that culminated in coming to the conclusion that we had/have a shared appreciation for Arn Anderson and then Watson texting a photo of the Macho Man tee-shirt referenced at the start of the original conversation. It's the kind of thing some guys live for. We are two of them.
In considering his band and what they do sonically, it's fun to think of them in wrestling terms as well because they incorporate a lot of the attitude of the heels - things like spitting in the faces of the heroes, stomping on faces and hiding illegal objects and/or powders or dusts in the trunks of their shorts to bring out at the right possible moment, when the referee's been dazed or knocked out cold. There's hair-pulling and plenty of shots below the belt. There's an anything goes quality to it, as they pipe out hot shit scuzziness that reminds you a bit of the Brooklyn Brawler's half-chewed cigar and his greasy and torn cloths, or, in laymen's terms, finding a "pre-smoked" cigarette, with some tobacco left to burn, in the gutter and lighting it up with a homeless squatter.
Watson and co-singer Isabel Almeida lead the spirit here, soaking the five songs on the New York group's debut EP with repetitive pissings, reinforcing the sentiments of disappointment, rejection and agitation over and over, giving us a good idea about how their headaches and chests feel. The music contains a dark matter to it and while the lyrics tend to be pretty antagonistic and needing answers, it sounds like just getting them off their chest is going to be enough for them. It will be the closure they need, just by spitting a big wad of saliva up into the air and seeing where it lands. There will be great satisfaction, wherever is splatters because they've been fucked with and now they're just wanting to do some provoking of their own.
Hunters Official Site