We’re suckers for Goth Rawk, okay? If we press “play” on a given record and we’re instantly transported to our favorite local club nights where the minimum dress code is “all black everything” then we’re in. And Bristol’s NAUT do that on their debut full-length Hunt so again, we’re in. Simple as that.
“Dissent” is a mood setter that’s a little reminiscent of Holograms or Beastmilk but darker and gnarlier with a ferocious bite from vocalist Gavin Laubscher whose baritone nicely plays off Jack Welch’s wailing guitar lines, Andi Effe’s bouncing bass tones, and Laura Taylor’s synth atmosphere. “All The Days” is pulsating with a little more bounce put into the programmed beats and “Gold & Death” comes off as a new Goth anthem before the moody “Damocles” saunters in, slows things down, and shakes everything up with a glistening gloom escapade.
Further in, “8 in 3” is seemingly made for Spooky Season with Welch’s lush strums serving as the perfect counterpoint to Laubscher’s commanding croon while “Unity of Opposites” is driven, direct, and devilish as Laubscher’s cries echo the frenetic bass work from Effe as well as the intricate drum programming. Welch’s guitars immediately break any reprieve between tracks and, when paired with Effe’s bass rumble, conjure up a sound akin to The Cure on “Nightfall” that’s equal parts raucous, rabble rousin’, and radiant before “Watchers” puts the final nail in the Hunt coffin ending the NAUT debut with a thrilling trip through the murky moors filled with propulsive beats, pointed vocal patterns, and melancholy musings.