There’s something truly absorbing about Something Missing, the new EP from North London foursome, Hunck. Specialising in the alt-rock sub-genres of sad- and slow-core, the band have discovered a sound that’s quite beautiful in its solemness.
Opening with title track, “Something Missing”, we are greeted with slow burning, mellow guitars that convey a contemplative air. The musical tone is complemented impeccably by remorseful lyrics sung in a high pitch. Remaining extremely melodic throughout, the accomplished instrumentation makes for a captivating listen.
Loud, bracing guitars drown out the vocals of “Toy Trucks” and take focus for an enthralling auditory effect. The lethargic and pensive momentum is very affecting. It manages to feel refreshingly original by relegating the vocals to the background and allowing the music to hold onto the spotlight. Resonating synths bring proceedings to a grand culmination before things fade out with a tranquil acoustic set.
As “Moerbeke” begins, a weighty, yearning riff builds to a short but salient choir-like harmony. Featuring no lyrics, instead the guitars themselves seem to sing, establishing a precarious ambience. If you purchase the EP as a digital download, this is will be your end point.
However, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a hard copy of Something Missing – offered in cassette form no less – there are four more tracks to enjoy. The first of these, “In Mijn Kamer”, is a short interlude belonging entirely to synths. A playful electronic beat gives this a much more contented feel than its predecessors.
The synths take precedence again during “Les Amants Débutants”, which is a reserved, melancholy number. A subtle drumbeat joins the electronics, creating an ethereal atmosphere before a short and stunning flute effect closes it out.
Tonally, “In the wee small hours of the morning” feels like it grows out of the previous entry. The emphasis is put back on the guitars, while vocals return for the first time since track three. An enchanting, delicate melody unfolds alongside a wonderful riff and drumbeat that take over in the middle. It’s soft and serene, playing out rather like a lullaby.
“Departures No. 2” veers back to the synths for an almost orchestral epilogue. There’s an innocence to the sound that’s stirring. It places an appropriate cap on the record.
Hunck have put together a compilation that is forlorn and wistful but somehow never bleak. The general aura that comes with Something Missing is one of thoughtfulness and introspection. More often than not, the instruments take precedence over the vocals, allowing the band to show up off their considerable musical talent. Their mesmerising performances make this an EP that is definitely worth checking out.