By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Back in the day, Hunter enraged many Brit crits when he deserted Mother England for that noted tax haven, New York State. Like his countryman, the novelist Martin Amis (who also caught hell when he left Britain for a big American payday and our superior dentistry), Hunter's at his outraged best when limning jolly old class warfare. Those same critics who were pissed 26 years ago can chew on "Ripoff," a rollicking, irresistible tune about the gentrification of an entire country now divided between the luxurious rich and those bottom-dwelling sods forlornly hoping to hit the lottery or soccer pools. In "Morons," a yowling siren chorus that emphatically gets at Hunter's rage engulfs the simple, blunt lyrics: "We are the morons/That you declared war on!"
Whether utterly sad ("Dead Man Walkin' ") or living it up ("Purgatory," "American Spy"), Hunter's scabrous vocals are typically an adventure: eschewing pop polish, they stretch and strain, adding tension to already taut songs.
The perfunctory "Still Love Rock and Roll" and schmaltzy "No One"which channels Eric Carmen with such lyrics as "all by myself, turn out the light"bracket the disc, but that's all right. No doubt they'll appear someday with a disclaimer similar to the one he gave an old song on a recent anthology: "Doesn't quite make it for me. Something wrong with the groove, as they say." Such refreshing honesty. At least respect the fuck you, since you gots to pay to read them liner notes.
Fuel 2000, 8033 Sunset Boulevard, suite 12, Los Angeles, CA 90046