The Hunches with the Bayonettes at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Sunday (July 3). $8 advance. 416-598-4753. Rating: NNNNN
Even though the members of the Hunches are originally from Eugene, Oregon, and Idaho, they're now challenging the Clorox Girls for the title of most exciting punk band outta Portland - at least since Poison Idea's Tom "Pig Champion" Roberts could no longer fit behind the wheel of the group's Econoline.
Like their weedy Clorox Girls counterparts, the 20-something slouches in the Hunches aren't all that physically imposing, but plug them in and they attack like savages. The crushing ShopVac-enhanced cover of the Electric Eels' Accident from The Hunches 2002 debut, Yes. No. Shut It. (In the Red) was evidently just a warm-up for a big, bolder blast to follow with their latest, Hobo Sunrise (In The Red).
There's obviously more to these fuzz fiends than three chords and some vacuum cleaner roar. This time there's also a wagon full of scrap metal and even some trombone squawk.
"We tried to be creative, so we threw a few more things in," shrugs guitarist Chris Gunn from the Portland pad he shares with bass basher Sarah Epstein. "The first album was really straightforward. We just played all the songs through and then added a couple of overdubs. That was it. We didn't want to make the exact same record again.
"The Electric Eels are a huge influence on us. There's a great sense of danger about what they did that's really appealing. Their stuff is so raw and primitive, yet at the same time it's also very creative and adventurous. You listen to their stuff from the early 70s and it sounds like it could've been done yesterday."
The Hunches could be in for a little danger of their own if anyone from the Rapture, Franz Ferdinand or the Killers comes across the delightfully belligerent Fuck Disco Beats EP.
You wouldn't want to be around when the cardigans come off and the scratching and slapping starts.
"We're not too worried about that," snorts Gunn. "We're not waging war on that whole dance-rock trend, just having a little fun.
"Anyone involved probably won't ever hear the song. And even if they did, they'd probably be too worried about messing up their hair to try and start something." firstname.lastname@example.org