I don’t know about you, but it’s rare for me to hear an album once and immediately think, ‘I have got to order this NOW’. But, thankfully, life occasionally throws these things our way, and having seen that Hunt Sales was about to release his, essentially, debut solo album, I figured it was worth checking out on the bedevilled Spotify to see just what it sounded like.
Now, it’s easy to get overexcited about anything that has links to Bowie, naturally enough. And, perhaps, expectations weren’t high, given Hunt’s tumultuous past. He’s been clean for a year and wears his past without shame. The man has lived. And, he’s responsible for THAT drumbeat. You know the one.
After one listen, I ordered the cd. Then, I kept on listening. I was right the first time. Twelve new songs, with Hunt, apparently playing all instruments; including some mean saxophone (I don’t have full details/‘guest’ players at present). All you need to know is that this is an album that really covers all the bases of Hunt’s varied career. Classic era Iggy? Check; ‘Here I Go Again’/‘Magik’. Jazzy, skanking numbers? Check; ‘Angel Of Darkness’/‘Sorry Baby’. Dirty, grinding riffs? Check; ‘I Can’t Stop’/‘Bitch Done Left’.
First single ‘One Day’ is a reflective, Cash-style tune. I loved his vocals in the much-maligned Tin Machine, especially ‘Stateside’, and they’ve matured. There’s real emotion here. Even in the one-line rant of ‘It Ain’t Easy’. Sales says he’s been practising every day, and you can tell. Rough edges, but rhythmically tight, as you’d expect. Somehow, the presence of saxophones on many tracks threads it all back to Mr B, though Hunt’s roots are also in jazz. Yes, folks, against the odds, Hunt Sales has indeed got his shit together. Something to celebrate.