Written & Photography by James Conway
After seeing the Hunna a few times over the past 3 years and following them for a few more, it has been so exciting watching them grow not only as a band but also as people.
The Watford trio consists of Ryan Potter (vocals) Daniel Dorney (lead guitarist) and Jack Metcalfe (drums). Their previous albums have had several different sounds but always kept a very familiar and authentic “Hunna” feel to them. The new era has drastically changed, as the band venture towards a feel-good rock sound with their new self-titled album.
After coming off their third studio record ‘I’d Rather Die Than Let You In’ produced by the great John Feldmann who’s worked alongside Blink-182, Avril Lavigne, All Time Low and 5 Seconds Of Summer to name a few. On the newest edition of Hunnamania, the boys have enlisted the iconic Gil Norton whose previous alumni include but aren’t limited to rock titans Foo Fighters on classic cuts such as Evermore, Learn to Fly and The Pretender. Other notable work includes Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen, Feeder, James, Twin Atlantic and Busted. Basically, if it slaps, there’s a good chance it’s got Gil Norton’s name on production credits. From one iconic producer to another, the acts each producer has worked with should give you a firm understanding of the direction in which the Watford boys are heading.
A self-titled project is always a bold statement piece. It’s the project that should be synonymous with the band. Think Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Led Zep, The Beatles, Metallica, The Doors – more recently The Xx, The 1975, Gorillaz, and Blur.
This self-titled project has a 13-song tracklist and dips into different themes and sounds. Screaming about money and the reckless greed of corporations sits beside a mellow lo-fi beat.
The album opener, ‘The Storm’ as previously mentioned is accompanied by a particularly soothing instrumental. Usually, the saying rings true, “the calm comes before the storm”, however coming from a nightmare of problems with both previous management and label issues, the calm has come from the storm.
‘Trash’ is a fast tempo hard-hitting, explosive, track with the three-piece giving the music industry a much-needed reality check. This one is punctuated by punchy lyrics, as well as a hook as catchy as any. The lead single brings angst which perfectly sets the tone for the project as a whole.
Jumping straight into another hard hitter, ‘Fugazi’. Jack Metcalfe performs out of his skin on the drums here, there’s a sexy bass line, it has all the ingredients to be a future fan favourite. The track itself is about being locked up and held down for a long period of time before inevitably getting to the point where you just say screw it, tonight we are going mental and we’re going to enjoy ourselves.
“Find a way out (back to you)” is a fierce track about finding your way out of a dark place. This track is one of the stronger tracks on the project and that’s all thanks to the powerful and hard-hitting lyrics. The vocals are perfectly accompanied by a jaw-dropping display of the band’s guitar capabilities before bringing a powerful drop with the repeating lyrics “I hope you find your way out”
Another notable track on the album is ‘Take a ride (Lights, Camera, Action)’. We start the track with a very evident Foo fighter sound from both the guitar riff and the drum pattern. Now whether this is a track about a fictional couple in a movie or is about Potter and his past experiences and how they might have been in a rather erotic movie scene is rather up for debate, or the listener’s imagination…
Either way, it has a brilliant heavy feel to it and has a great build-up towards the end with a classic head-banging drop which is always appreciated.
The next hard hitter I was able to luckily hear before release at one of their recent shows in Bristol, ‘Sold My Soul’. An incredible dynamic of sounds from calm to fast pacing and Hefty hitting drum beats. The song is about falling in love with someone and quite literally putting your soul into it and selling it to them to be under their control.
One of the last tracks that really caught my ears was ‘You Can’t Sit with us’ – this track has very notable early 2000s Rage Against the Machine vibes to it. The premise of the track effectively is putting your middle finger up to people who follow the trends and make fun of you for being yourself. There is a very heavy rock breakdown at the end of the track which I can already see the mosh pits opening to and the carnage ensuing.
And Finally, ‘Untouched Hearts’ is the track that helped the Watford trio staple the sound of this album, at its core the track is about reflecting on past trauma and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and the future. Throughout the day after my first listen, I couldn’t stop humming to myself the hook of this song and is just a testimony to how incredible not only this song is but also many of the other tracks.
Overall, I think this self-titled album quite literally deserves to be called just that. The Hunna have come a long way and this album is the boys at their very best.