I first heard about Holly Hunt a little over a year ago. They had a limited run split cassette out on some label and I missed out. I knew the band featured Beatriz Monteavaro (Floor, Cavity, Beings) on drums but nothing else. Being the Floor fanatic I am it seemed like something I should find. I was unsuccessful. I saw Holly Hunt at a house show in Orlando, Florida and they didn’t have any of the tapes; the label had sold them all; even Sweat Records in Miami had none. Thankfully, Holly Hunt’s newest release, a double LP titled Year One, contains two of the tracks (the other is featured on their Bandcamp page) along with eight others. With this release Holly Hunt is capturing all the sonic intensity of their live shows and earlier recordings but with a more refined recording–one that embodies what’s great about heavy music in South Florida.
What’s so great about Year One’s ten tracks is the creativeness contained within its simplicity. Overly complicated metal bands are usually a turn-off – as I’m not 18 anymore and now listen to what a friend of mine calls “Old Man Metal,”–but something too elementary is also a bore. Holly Hunt successfully traverses the line between plain and too complicated. Guitarist Gavin Perry’s riffs definitely lead the charge but Monteavaro’s percussion isn't just there to keep time; instead, her patterns are original and innovative, as was the case in her past bands, and demonstrate her ability to riff with the rhythms alongside Perry, whose guitars deliver crushing sludge with a meditative drone. However, if you’re looking for a record that’s singularly brutal, Year One might disappoint, as the LP also contains moments of heavily distorted melody. Where so many sludge bands are influenced exclusively by metal, Holly Hunt shows they’re just as influenced by Black Flag as Black Sabbath. Whatever South Florida is doing that spawns bands like this they need to keep it up.
The record is a split release between Other Electricities and Roofless Records. Other Electricities is already taking pre-orders on it and the first 100 come with a pair of Holly Hunt earplugs, a free digital download, and a pouch (?). This LP is a great representation of what this duo can accomplish live and hopefully a Year Two will appear sometime in 2013 as Holly Hunt’s output is nothing short of incredible and I require more.