I was a little worried by the name of the band Drink Hunters. I was afraid it was going to be a band that perpetuates the tired, old boozehound stereotype by pumping out track after track of some drinking songs or rehashing old standards like “Whiskey in the Jar,” “All For Me Grog” or “The Drunken Sailor.” The title of the lead off number, “Drinking Song” didn’t help with this apprehension.
I gave it a spin, though, and was pleasantly surprised. Even with a chorus of “I love whiskey, I love beer,” as my first taste of the band, I had to admit it was a damned catchy little ditty. And in fairness, it is the only one of the four numbers on this demo that chases this philosophy.
Instrumentally, the Spanish quintet are made up of a pretty tight rhythm section of guitar, bass, and drums, with a frenetic fiddler sitting on top driving the thing. The whole sound is fleshed out and rounded off nicely by the accordion. The instruments work really well with one another and topped off with vocals that are very similar to those of The Real McKenzies. That comparison may have colored my initial impression, but with subsequent listenings and further scrutiny, I think that is probably the best basis of comparison for The Drink Hunters, sans bagpipes of course.
As a demo, the sound quality can be a bit, well, inconsistent, but I believe a good impression of what this band is about is captured here on these four tracks. I think my favorite track is the song, “It’s In Your Hands.” It has all the race and pace of any other punk clubbers in the genre but seamlessly saddles some nice Celtic-feeling fiddle across the top and even sneaks in a little Cajun spice with some ever-so-subtle accordion work midway through.
In the end of the all-too-short demo, I found myself enjoying every song offered here, and will be keeping an eye out for more from The Drink Hunters.
And hey, maybe the name will grow on me.
Review by Christopher Toler, THE Blathering Gommel