[7 July 2014]
More than anything, Hunger, the latest slab of acid-fried rock from Dan Melchior und Das Menace, is a messy, lo-fi romp through the dirtier corners of retro-minded indie rock, heavy on the eccentricities. Melchior’s approach to fidelity (or lack thereof) has Hunger coming across as something he and his mates came up with during a particularly interesting night of drinking and imbibing other elicit substances rather than a well-thought-out project. It’s clearly designed to be part of the overall aesthetic, but it can be a bit jarring at times when tracks move from reasonably well-produced to in-the-red, blown-out messes.
The moments when fidelity does return (“Birdz”, “Parakeet”, the title track) prove to be some of the more compelling, with Melchior clearly putting a bit more thought into these particular tracks. “Birdz” is perhaps the best example of those afforded additional care and attention (hell, there’s even a clarinet solo) and comes off sounding like a cross between Wreckless Eric and Ween circa The Mollusk.
Even for those used to more than a bit of grit in their garage rock might find portions of Hunger a little hard to swallow. Those that are palatable, however, prove Melchior to be a rightful heir to the crown of British eccentrics operating at the musical fringes and helps establish Hunger as an enjoyably strange listen.