Not many releases quite sound like a long lost relic of the past quite like Hunger For A Way Out by Sweeping Promises. This record takes everything that was fun and exciting about the beginnings of the New Wave movement from the late 70’s and early 80’s and really run with it on this new record. While not reinventing the genre in any way, Sweeping Promises sound like a band who was right at the forefront of a new sound and time travel to 2020 to bless our ears with their take on the genre. It’s an experience for anyone who wants to get into ‘newer’ music at their own pace, as the landscape of new sounds and ideas can be overwhelming, Hunger For A Way Out can create
a safe space for people who have fallen out of music discovery from their younger years.
The first half of the album is a very enjoyable experience from the Boston-based band, as it comes loaded with the first and title track of the album ‘Hunger For A Way Out.’ In what is the standout track of this album, we get everything that is charming about the concept of this band, as instantly we get this driving bass line and this bright, yet fuzzy guitar right within the first ten seconds of the song. The vocals on this particular song sound appropriate as our lead singer is yearning to find a solution, we get wacky synth breaks on this track that clocks in at roughly two and a half minutes. The synths on this particular album just sound very whimsical like the listener is trapped in a room with no place to go. There is also a certain amount of ominous overtones with the very low pitched bass guitar we get on a lot of these songs. The second track on the album, ‘Cross Me Out’ really picks up where the first one left off and feels like a very welcomed continuation of the same song. We get the same amount of quality on the third track of the album entitled ‘Blue,’ a song that really plays with the same combination and structure that have been prevalent within the beginning of the album, the low fuzzy bass still feels ominous, the vocals are still the perfect combination of bored yet mysterious, and we still get these really weird, winding synth breaks.
This is where the problems in this record really lay for me. None of these songs try anything new from this point and we kind of start to see the quality in song structure sort of take a hit. It may feel on par to some, but I guess I was really hoping to see where else they could go with this dated sound. There is a lot of repetition within the songs, and whereas that works to the three piece’s advantage on the first few songs, it becomes a little sickening and tiresome for a listener trying to listen to this one from front to back.
Hunger For A Way Out works well when you look at it as an artifact that exists solely out of appreciation for arguably one of the most influential music genres of a time period rather than a new release. I could see a lot of people thinking that there is a lot of solid music on this one, and there is, but I just think it gets a little tiresome and is a wee bit top heavy for my liking. While not doing anything especially new, the songs on Hunger For A Way Out act as a love letter for the bands that have come before Sweeping Promises that we all know and respect.
Favorite Tracks: 'Hunger For a Way Out,' 'Cross Me Out'
Least Favorite Track: 'An Appetite'
Listen to the track 'Hunger For a Way Out' below: