Words by Keane Fletcher
Dust off your flannel y’all, grunge is making a comeback. A genre that was once thought to have died out in the 90’s is having a resurgence with indie bands and singer/songwriters across the country. It makes sense in a way. People are mad, and rightly so. The planet’s getting warmer, we’re in the midst of a pandemic, we’ve lost faith in our political leaders, and to top it off we keep having all these goddamn emotions about it! It makes sense then that our musicians would want to shake off the bubble-gum optimism of the 2010’s in favour of something more…well…angry.
Singer/guitarist Blake Caragh is one such musician. After gaining success as a member of the band Bleach It Clean, Caragh has recently dropped his first solo EP ‘Extinction’ led by the single ‘Human Hunting Hat’. A two-and-a-half-minute Molotov cocktail of a song, ‘Human Hunting Hat’ packs a mighty punch for its short running time. Caragh’s guitar skills are at the forefront here; in fact, apart from some Nirvana-style drums in the chorus there is little else in the way of instrumentation which only adds to the track’s brand of lo-fi authenticity. Lyrically, the song is typical grunge, moving back and forth from despondency to rage, with a melody that – while simple, yes – allows Caragh a wide range of expression. His vocals in the verses even call to mind Brian Molko (of Placebo fame) with their metallic drawl. You can really feel the emotion here, the grit in his teeth, the anger bubbling beneath the surface.
That being said, you can’t help but wonder if the song might have benefited from greater attention to melodic structure; for all of Nirvana’s thrashing vocals and electrified rage, their melodies still manage to capture something beautiful and haunting in their intricacy – just look at all the acoustic covers out there.
This is a small gripe however. For with his debut, Caragh certainly demonstrates that he has the skill and the passion to take his brand of neo-grunge all the way, and we here at Hipland couldn’t be more excited to see what he cooks up next. Barring any future global catastrophes of course.
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!