Flying Fox and The Hunter/Gatherers, Hans My Lion
Posted by Jason Gladu
Winnipeg’s Flying Fox and The Hunter/Gatherers have been developing their special brand of chaos over two solid EPs and with their first full-length, Hans My Lion, they have matured into an impressive sextet that has found a balance between gypsy hard-bop and indie-pop.
Honestly, that description is just an attempt to pigeon-hole Flying Foxes’ sound. Along with the band’s impressive musical back round (all six members are classically trained) they have a knack for creating popular rock operas. Besides their yearly interpretation of Jesus Christ Superstar the band fired-up Winnipeg’s imagination with their original concept The Wild Things (inspired by Maurice Sendek’s Where the Wild Things Are) receiving “Best of Fest” at the 2010 Fringe Festival.
Point being? They bring all these experiences into Hans My Lion for a knock-out performance that tells a mythological tale of a lion born of a human womb. Throughout the album there are two trilogies that touch on the passing of time “Hans My Lion I-III” and “Spring”, “Winter” and “Autumn”. All capture the band’s passion for mixing idiosyncratic rhythms and charismatic narratives.
My personal favourites include “Hammer” which sounds like if Captain Beefheart was seduced by horns instead of the blues. Lead vocalist, Jesse Krause delivers some of his best lines in this song with a contemptuous roar, “We wouldn’t call it music, but it’s charming all the same, it is seductive in its cacophony”. Indeed sir!
Lead off single “Vanity” is hung on bassist Lindsey Collins’ dramatic lines as Paul Schmidt and Stephen Kay’s horns, Krause’s fiddle work and Darren Grunau’s twinkling keys turn this pop song into a modern classical piece. My only complaint (and it won’t matter to new listeners of the band) is the inclusion of “Nurse” and “Loneliness” – Both songs have appeared on past EPs – and I feel like they don’t really fit in with the concept of the album.
Flying Fox and The Hunter/Gatherers have obviously poured all their soul and creativity into a record that gets more and more involved with every listen and they have done the impossible – captured the magic of their live performances. (Independent)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Posted on March 20, 2011, in Album Reviews and tagged captain beefheart, flying fox and the hunter/gatherers, hans my lion, jazz, pop, rock-opera, Swing, winnipeg fringe festival. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.