Album art for Bitch Hunt's EP Shapeshifter. A photograph of a cream coloured dog shaking off whilst stood in a shallow river. The dog is so blurred due to movement that it is barely recognisable as such.

This is Londoners Bitch Hunt's first EP after a split tape with adults last year which - full disclosure - I helped put out. It captures them practically as I remember their live sets, with only a few additional frills to adorn their affecting melodies. Opening track Out of Eden's verses and instrumental breaks switch from restrained, borderline gothic, tension to fuzzy punkier sections that still only really pick up energy in the middle eight.

Identity Clinic contains some decidedly classic rock riffage before truly letting go when it descends into a borderline Stooges freakout with the faint hint of a trumpet so low it could just be warm and brassy sounding feedback. Eau Claire returns to an indie pop style that is more typical of this release, like the melancholy end of Cub or Beat Happening.

The title track borders on melodic post punk, similar to Palberta's recent output. Towards the end it begins to build with a repeated refrain flicking between "I'm not the same" and "but I'm the same", before closing on a jazzy country blues call back to the chorus. Give it a listen, you'll be singing along before the end of your first time with it on.

MAY 28, 2021