“Hunger Of The Pine” Alt-J

Alt J

Hunger Of The Pine Track Review

Infectious Records

Released June 18, 2014

Genre: Experimental Rock, Art Rock, Electronic

Eclecticism can have its perks. I mean, look at bands like The Talking Heads or The Flaming Lips, both incredibly eccentric bands, equally respected in the music scene. Alt-J have slowly been unraveling their own unique blend of eclectic styles throughout their short, ongoing existence. We’re talking about a band that substituted a hi-hat with a cowbell, and insists that sitar solos can make a hit named after a plant.  Moreover, the band’s sound on their debut, the spectacular An Awesome Wave, showed us how much effort and layers of sound and instrumentation can be added to such simple songs. This new track of theirs seems like the perfect direction for a them, in terms of creativity and instrumentation.

Right off the bat, electronic blips accompany frontman Joe Newman’s warm vocals. Layers of orchestral strings, synths, horns and even a sample of a Miley Cyrus song come in with hip hop beats. Drummer Thom Green comes in shortly thereafter, again with no cymbals. But I won’t complain; that’s how Alt-J fans love it. The beloved harmonies come in, and all the sounds coalesce to form a stellar track that, despite its lack of any climax or change in direction, will satisfy any fan of Alt-J.

Alas, there’s no guitar plucking, due to the departure of band member Gwil Sainsbury. “The lyrics mainly suggest the idea that missing someone — pining — can be a physical pain much like hunger” says band member Gus Unger-Hamilton. Whatever the group may be pining for, it sure doesn’t decimate their musical strength. For as the song comes to a close with the fuzzy bass lines that fans know and remember it remains true that Alt-J is back, and for now, they’re more eclectic and better than before. The lyrics actually make sense this time around too. Bravo guys.



SCORE: (8.3/10)

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