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#albumoftheday (er, #epdujour) / REVIEW: SCAVENGER HUNT: WILDFIRE

Scavenger Hunt is an excellent ’80’s retro-style Los Angeles-based band that was formed in August of 2013. Its members are Jill Lamoureux (vocals) Dan Mufson (bass and keys) Nick Annis (guitar) and Aaron Prather (drums and percussion). On their Facebook info page they list influences like the Back To The Future movies (1 & 2), Lionel Ritchie, the movie Mannequin, Annie Lennox and the TV show Wings. And they explain their name: “The name Scavenger Hunt originated from the way Dan saw navigating Los Angeles as being reminiscent of a scavenger hunt to success – where any circumstance could increase the odds of achieving a goal, or helping someone along the way.”

Their new EP, Wildfire, opens with the throbbing, glittery title track. It’s like a cross between Blondie, Pat Benatar and old schoolMadonna with a dash of Katy Perry thrown in for good measure. It’s highly contagious and anyone who appreciates ’80’s music should cherish it. But it’s a pop song and I should think it would have universal appeal. Anyone who can appreciate a catchy tune should find it irresistible. Jill’s voice is gorgeous and immediately accessible. I should also point out that not every note of the song sounds like it’s straight from the ’80’s. The production is modern, the beats as punchy as anything that’s on the Top 40 right now. It just happens to have an ’80’s pop vibe. If you lived through the ’80’s it’ll probably make you think of neon, tanning without sunscreen, break dancing, pre-Aids sex, corny TV shows and cocaine. But if you didn’t live through the ’80’s it’ll simply become the soundtrack to your life, something you’ll wind up associating with whatever else you’re into at the moment and whatever life events are happening now. Nothing wrong with that, right?

“Til I See A Sign,” the first B-side, has a stronger ’80’s vibe. You’d swear it was a lost Berlin or Kim Wilde track. And I mean that as a compliment. There are so many bands doing the ’80’s thing right now but few are doing it even half as good as Scavenger Hunt. I imagine this one playing during the movie Less Than Zero, during a romantic montage before it all goes to hell. And it’s just as catchy as “Wildfire,” so check it out and get high on the glamour of it all.

The EP concludes with a pair of “Wildfire” remixes. First is Joshua Walter’s remix, which kicks up the throbbing beats, making them hit twice as hard, meanwhile overdosing the listener on synth. I don’t mean that as a negative though. The song works rather well with extra synth. (It’s synth-tastic.) Then there’s the Bee’s Knees remix, which starts off with Jill’s vocals processed so that they sound kind of like Imogen Heap’s vocals in “Hide & Seek.” In the background, you hear her vocals with the pitch turned down so low that they sound like a guy is singing. And then the beats drop, hammering away in a most danceable manner. While the Joshua Walter remix makes the song sound even more ’80’s than it already did, the Bee’s Knees version re-envisions it as a modern EDM track, which should satisfy listeners who aren’t too keen on synth.

Bottom line? If you’re addicted to hooky pop then you have to hear this EP. It’s so, so good. Scavenger Hunt is going to be huge. They could be the next Ladytron or Metric. Easily.

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Written by

Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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