Live review: Hunters @ Empty Bottle


To be a hunter, one must possess some pretty animalistic skills. You must know your prey, its environs and most importantly, you need to have the right tools/weaponry. Observation is key. If you arrive to the hunting grounds too late, you just might miss the opportunity to study your prey in great detail.

I bust into the Empty Bottle a few moments after the group was well into their beginning session of their set. What I immediately notice is this cotton candy haired lady flailing around onstage. She’s throwing a punk rock hissy fit dance that is comparable to that of a small child who was denied dessert after dinner, only she’s throwing her vegetables at you while she does it. Her name is Isabel Almeida. She’s both the sex appeal and entertainment of the entire outfit. They play “Street Trash” right after guitarist and vocalist, Derek Watson — clad in a Slayer cut-off tee — announces to the crowd, “I can do some Black Steel.” It is totally apparent that there’s something going on between Mister Watson and Miss Almeida when she wrangles him in with the cord of her microphone and goes in for a little kiss. It’s so fierce yet bittersweet and now she’s sprawled out on the floor of the stage singing to the heavens moving around like some exorcist shit. Watson goes into “Brat Mouth.” His voicebox is heard first while Almeida echoes him “I know it, I know it…” in a soft yet innocent voice. The crowd really doesn’t phase these guys too much and by these guys I mean Hunters. They’re all chilling onstage in their own little world. They could’ve been performing in an empty room and I’m very confident they’d still be having a good time. A low, dirty tune chimes in with a shit load of distortion to it — it’s a grungy one — and the drums answer the growlings of this noise. It’s “Acid Head” time! With just a few tunes left, I’ve come to the conclusion that I could get down with this band. Almeida has this Bikini Kill meets The Slits kind of sound at times, the rage is set to eleven, and the beats are just killer. These New York kids are gonna take off in no time. Pick up their album Hands on Fire. You’ll thank me later.