It’s been a tumultuous and at times turbulent ride for Glasgow indie rock quartet We Were Hunted the past few years, from the spiralling heights of coming incredibly close to obtaining a support slot to Scottish rock heavyweights Biffy Clyro to the plummeting depths of vocalist Ryan Muir tragically losing his mother last year.
Perhaps, selfishly, it is those incidents which has led to this – the resulting debut EP from the boys, which is insipidly wrapped in beautiful melodies and catchy harmonies akin to the likes of American emo punkers Motion City Soundtrack and Jimmy Eat World.
Opening track ‘XO’ is a painfully delicate ode to Muir’s late mother as he softly bellows “you’re still the reason I keep singing” against a closing crescendo of intrinsically mesmerising drums and guitars.
Leading single ‘The River’ delivers punchy vocals, addressing themes of isolation and regret, the rasp of Muir reeks of desperation and hopelessness as he solemnly declares he has been “pulled into the river” – similar to the vibes Glasgow brethren Fatherson strike upon their tracks – there is a sense of closure and resolution as the final notes of the track ring out.
Similarly in theme with the rest of the EP, third track ‘The Wire’ connotes the image of a band attempting to evolve and grow up, aware of surroundings that become more obvious as youthful exuberance fades and the grim reality of adolescent expectations take a firm grip of their life.
Closing track ‘Darling’ stares deep into the soul of the quartet as it originates with a seeping vocal over a slow guitar, as the song matures as does the musicianship – by the end, we are met with a distinct homeliness of distorted pedalling guitars and harrowing rhythmic drum beats as the band leave us with a taste of what is to come from what is shaping up to be a massive year for them, starting with their biggest headline gig to date taking place in The Garage by the time you will have read this.
Words: Chris Kelman