HUNTING GROUNDS are in it for the long haul. Their debut album may be be titled IN HINDSIGHT, but here is a sextet that is looking ahead with a firm grasp on the realities and possibilities of past and present. There is a degree of dramatic irony buried within the concise title of this very vast album.
Everything about In Hindsight is vast, the themes, the sounds, of course even the number of performers on it. Hunting Grounds is by nature a very cohesive, collaborative effort. There are multiple songwriters here, heaving and swaying against each other’s ideas and concepts, inspiring an eclectic and intelligent mix. Three vocalists now also revolve on Hunting Grounds’ stage: Lachlan Morrish, Michael Belsar and Galen Strachan. One might be forgiven for assuming that this is too much for one ambitious debut release, but it’s stitched together in a synth-heavy, hip-swaying cacophony that straddles beautiful and mesmerising.
Hunting Grounds endured the waiting game when it came to the fruition of this album. Dates were set, first single (In Colour) released to much radio play and general praise. Then; nothing. The writing process was long and cumbersome, but the sonic growth from the ‘Howl’ and ‘Brothers In Violence’ EPs to ‘In Hindsight’ is palpable; and thus the wait is justified. Dribs and drabs of demoing was at last coaxed together into an album when the band entered Melbourne’s Red Door Sounds with Brothers In Violence producer Paul ‘Woody’ Annison (Children Collide, Black Cab, Young Revelry). The luxury of several weeks with Annison helped the sextet craft tunes that previously seemed offcuts (like FLAWS) into shiny aural gems.
Each and every step of the journey towards the realization of IN HINDSIGHT has been a learning experience. The band’s winning stint as the triple j Unearthed High crown winners sent the band into a quality studio with experienced producers. In fact, Hunting Grounds have really come good as the first Uneathed High winning band to release a full length. Furthermore, a touring schedule that hardened touring veterans would wince at saw them cut their teeth on unfamiliar audiences and make many and varied friends. Venturing outside the support of the small but fruitful Ballarat music scene meant a new perspective, but also solidified the loyalties that lie at home. Indeed, the art and videos that accompany In Hindsight have been crafted by Ballarat locals, giving it all a very cooperative feeling. All in all; IN HINDSIGHT is a testament to the virtues of hard work, an inquisitive mind and an insatiable desire to experiment through sound.