The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

IAN HUNTER AND THE RANT BAND

WHEN I'M PRESIDENT

2012

 

STILL ESSENTIAL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

 

 

The problem a lot of ‘legends’ from the 70’s have, if they are still making music today, is that a lot of their fan-base from those days has simply moved on, probably not aware that those guys they loved in their youth are still out there making music in their seventies (and we must admit Mr Hunter looks about the most spritely 70+ year old we’ve seen). The young kids (I avoided using ‘dudes’ but was tempted) of course, just look to the classics if they are interested at all. And that leaves you with the long term fans and those who may not appreciate the history and just dig the music.

 

I must admit to being one of those ‘long-termers’ myself. As a kid along with the Zeppelin and Alice Cooper in my Dad’s record collection there was also a bit of Mott, and they were a band that always stayed with me.

 

In 2012 with the esteemed ‘Rant Band’ in tow, Hunter is in fine fettle indeed. Still sporting his trademark hair and glasses he always has there’s a timelessness to his appearance and to the music here.

 

What grabs you most about ‘When I’m President’ is how it manages to both recapture the feel and texture of the rock and roll that that classic Mott the Hoople used as its foundation. At times: especially in the faster piano-infused jaunts like ‘Wild Bunch’ – it is just plain good old fashioned country and gospel-tinged rock and roll!

 

Then at other times like on ‘Fatally Flawed’ or ‘Saint’ it treads that territory that early Springsteen and later Petty or Mellencamp trod; or takes a Dylan-like poetic acoustic meandering path, which allows Hunter to step into the spotlight which firmly fixes on his voice and lyrics – which have lost none of their magic.

 

There is one song here though that transcends all of that, it has a power and a passion and a real warmth that only makes you wish the sketch (at barely three and a half minutes) was transformed into the epic it surely could be – check out ‘Black Tears’ and see what you think.

 

There’s also some beautiful mellow rock on here – probably none better than on the title track itself, which grabs and holds onto that taste of summer skies. Other highlights for me at least include the ode to Crazy Horse ‘Ta Shunka Witco’ the wonderful Mott-like ballad closer 'Life' and of course ‘Black Tears’ but it’s all good.

 

Ian Hunter is still bloody good in his seventies and that is something we should revere and a lot of artists out there should be inspired by. 

 

 

By Mark Diggins