For Love, the debut album from Austrian trio H U N G E R, fits easily into the synth pop–based modern rock bracket. All the elements of that hybrid style are covered. Lucas Fendrich’s bright vocals have just a hint of keening to them that is so distinctive of Hot Topic shopping music. References to ’80s new wave-y hooks abound, as do splashes of synthetic EDM-y breakdowns, exemplified by the fleshed out “Gold” and the percolating refrains of “Evermore.” For Love has an interlude of echo-y electro-ballads, including the boy band-shaped “Taste,” before returning to the highly charged power anthems. It ends on a quiet but strong note with the spare but fully realized “Magic”—at least in comparison with the rest of the album.
The wide-screen nature of For Love could very well have something to do with the fact that H U N G E R started out wanting to score movies and ended up with more hooks than they could fit into background music for pictures. Still, the cinematic feel of the album is yet another one of its attractions. For Love ticks so many obvious boxes that enjoying the album seems both too easy and a guilty pleasure. Compounded together, that’s a pretty irresistible blend.
All songs written by H U N G E R: Lucas Fendrich: vocals, Daniel Rumpel: guitar, and Johannes Herbst: bass/keys; and co-written by Dan Weller. Produced by Dan Weller, co-produced by Hunger, engineered by Johannes Herbst at The Castle, Austria and a home studio in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mixed by Jeremy Wheatley at 4DB Studio, London, England. Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, New York City.