Bitch Hunt – ‘Shapeshifter’ EP review

Queer indie/punk Londoners Bitch Hunt release their debut EP ‘Shapeshifter’ via Reckless Yes on limited edition CD and digital outlets on 28 May. The band say: ”Shapeshifter’ explores the difficult journeys that someone has to go through to navigate a cisheteronormative world, but does it in a mostly upbeat and triumphant tone. Themes include heartbreak and struggle, but also friendship and fun.’

An exploration of abuse, queerness and redemption, ‘Out of Eden’ opens with a blast of Bernard Butler-esque guitar and a gentle sway in the delivery of lyrics including ‘Under the apple tree is where you found me’. This moves on to the pining question of ‘Why didn’t she see she breathed life into me?’ before the song explodes into a grungey and scuzzy alt-rock sound that has a hint of Patti Smith. ‘Identity Clinic’ continues in this honest vein (complete with tumbling hooks and crashing drums) with its plea to the subject to ‘Break my heart’ and the powerful observation: ‘All I ever wanted was your pain. All I ever got was your shame’.

‘Eau Claire’ starts in more reflective fashion as the band fondly and nostalgically celebrate friendship, talking about finding paradise and moving away from parasites: ‘We washed in the river that year’. ‘Shapeshifter’ follows with its bass-driven and melodic feel backing up a bunch of apologies and the importance of finding your identity: ‘Sometimes I wish I could be you, sometimes I could eat you’; ‘I’m not the same but I’m the same’.

Described by the band as a ‘melancholy and light song about mental health’, the EP comes to a close (on CD and digital download at least, this song won’t be on streaming sites) with the poignant and considered ‘I Wanna Be Un/Happy’. With an evocative guitar tone the whole way through, vocalist Sian says how they’re feeling happy and sad at the same time before delivering an impassioned shout of ‘I’m fine’.

Shapeshifters they may be, but Bitch Hunt have found the perfect sound on this EP. Track it down…

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