The Robert J. Hunter Band | Album Review

The Robert J. Hunter Band

self release

12 songs time-43:42

The Robert J. Hunter Band from the U.K. describe their music as dirty blues, but a more appropriate name would be dirty blues-rock. From Robert’s coarse vocals to his charging guitar onslaught this music would seem to have more of an appeal to heavy metal kids. He is adept at creating clever riffs that stay in your head. His playing varies from rock riffing to blues-rock and a bit of blues. Although at times they lean to the noisy side of the music spectrum, they can slow it down quite nicely at times. He doubles on harmonica and the two members of the rhythm section provide minimal keyboards. The all original songs by Hunter are about the travails of everyday life.

He digs right in with the rocking “Loving Unfortunately”. “Lost friends To loving unfortunately”. Some weird electronic sounds hide beneath the surface of the crunchy and at times noisy “Mr Winter”. The tempo picks up about midway through to revert back to the original riff. “alone” benefits from a melodic and addictive slide guitar riff. The upbeat groove of “Suzy” belies the serious subject of drug addiction.

Robert J. Hunter rips off some crystal clear notes on the slow and intense “Every Heart Needs A Home”. “Bringing Me Down” ventures into the boogie territory of Savoy Brown and their offshoot Foghat. It features some rip roaring slide guitar reminiscent of Foghat’s Rod Price. An infectious guitar riff permeates the rockin’ “When The Winter Comes”. Guitar and bass sync into a lockstep riff on “Wait Your Turn”. If you like inventive riffing, this is the place.

The simmering and deliberate “The Fool” gives Hunter a chance to stretch out on guitar. “Poison” is a rather catchy rocker with a sped up tempo near song’s end. It alternates between standard and slide guitar with distorted vocals at times. Slow jangly acoustic guitar and what sounds like mandolin carry “Keep On Hanging On”, a song about, you guessed it, staying in the game.

Rough and riff-y guitar rock with moments of poignancy. An interesting listen. Robert J. Hunter is quite an inventive guitarist. Along with a tried and true rhythm section, a CD that reveals more nuances at each consecutive playing. The rough and tumble sound is augmented by better than average lyrics.

Not blues, but certainly worth your while.

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