FOR ROUGHLY three years, the hellions of Hungers have been corroding the scene with an intense, sludgy form of noise rock. Last year, they self-released a cassette containing seven songs, and anyone who got their hands on it knew where the band stood musically: They meant serious business. While the tape was a solid representation of Hungers' sound, it was really just a warning. Their new 12-inch EP, The Unobserved, finds them unfurling a true sonic plague unto the world.
Opening track "The Devouring" is mechanically crushing, as gritty as a skinned knee. It widens your eyes, making you feel like you're in for a major harshening for the rest of the record. But perhaps sensing the possible onset of shock, the opening riff of second track "Ablution" and the central riff of deeper cut "Projection" are both heavy yet sobering melodies. Those tracks serve as calming mental-palate cleansers before Hungers continue the punishment. Guitarist/singer Andrew Morgan's vocal delivery is furious and authoritative, like a fire-and-brimstone street preacher who's screamed his voice raw. You can almost hear him shaking a crooked finger at you. The record is capped off with "Bereft," a swelling ocean of acoustic and electric riffs that echo, fade in and out, and fold over each other like an ocean of waves. The result is stunning.
According to Morgan and drummer Noel Harris, it's not all about grating eardrums. Hungers have a bit of a message to convey, as well.
"It's vague and open for interpretation," Morgan says, "but the ultimate theme that makes sense to myself is the repression of people's thoughts with the internet, TV, and the media. The state of things, really."
Harris confirms that The Unobserved's not all about the blindness and blandness of man. The band hopes to advocate self-discovery and enlightenment. "It's also about shutting out standardized beliefs. Being your own individual, and acquiring knowledge. Understanding is a real concept, you know?"
Harris continues, "It's important to us to invest at least something of your heart, and your interests [into the music]. Otherwise there are no guts there."