The Hunna “Dare” released via Warner Music Germany
For Fans Of: Don Broco, Emarosa, Kings of Leon, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Circa Waves
Genre: Pop Rock, Indie Rock
By Justin Nuckols @justinnuckols
Presenting a polished 34 minutes reminiscent of their live sets, The Hunna bring listeners the anthemic lines “And I dare you” on the opening track of their sophomore release, Dare. The 2018 album was one that helped the band’s early momentum carry through as The Hunna are booked to play the main stage at the Reading & Leeds Festival this August.
The English four-piece rock group has built an impressive following in under four years. Having spent their fair share of time on festival stages and tours around the UK, it’s obvious to pinpoint where the live energy and intensity conveyed on Dare stems from.
Sobering lyrics of heartbreaking loss such as lead singer Ryan Potter’s story on “Mother”, or aggressive guitar licks that inject a sense of adrenaline, such as those on “Dare” and “Y.D.W.I.W.M”, make this album a versatile work. The Hunna have shown they can induce an audience with an emotion when wanted, and can turn the octane high when needed. The contrast that the band alternates listeners between over the course of the record showcases timely mood changes (possibly credit to their ample experience in directing live audiences’ emotions).
Dare makes use of guitar-driven melodies complemented with often simple, yet rhythmic drum phrases in the verses. Elevated dynamics during choruses, drummer Jack Metcalfe strengthening crescendos with punchy fills, and introducing tracks with catchy guitar riffs are attributes of this Brit rock album. Spacious tunes like “Flickin’ Your Hair” may remind listeners of Kings of Leon, thanks to the returning vocal harmonies that The Hunna showcased on their prior record.
Compared to 100, the group’s debut record, several familiar elements were carried over into the creative direction on Dare. The opening track off 100, titled “Bonfire”, could easily be inserted onto Dare without notice, which may encourage fans of The Hunna’s original work. The aforementioned vocal harmonies we heard on 100’s “Alive” were utilized, as well as repetitive phrasing Ryan uses in the choruses, often accompanied with enormous reverb. The significant difference between albums seems to be the emphasis on overdosing the tunes with confidence, boldness, and punch. Jostling melodies in heavy rock tracks as well as vocals cracking with emotion are represented. The catchy songwriting that makes this band’s sound so memorable on first listen hasn’t been abandoned, yet has been infused with intensified distortions and timely backbeats that sparks a listener’s fire. Raw, revealing, honesty bring vulnerability to the very same album on tracks like “Babe, Can I Call?” and “Lover”.
Summarizing this record in three words: brazen, energetic, & confessional. Leaning heavily on the song structures and elements of the prior album remains the strongest critique for Dare. For fans off put by early work from The Hunna, this album is still worth spinning once, for the slower, reflective songs may offer you something new. For longtime lovers, Dare delivers everything you loved early on, while emphasizing the explosive nature of this group’s sound.
For readers in the UK, catch The Hunna on tour this summer. And all other readers, go spin the album to let these guys know the states want a show!
Watch music videos for Dare, NY to LA and Summer below!
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