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Long Island’s Envy on the Coast reinvents sound on 1st album in 7 years

Ryan Hunter, left, and Brian Byrne have reinvented

Ryan Hunter, left, and Brian Byrne have reinvented Envy on the Coast's sound as a duo. Credit: Envy on the Coast / Julian Marin

The unexpected return of Envy on the Coast, with singer Ryan Hunter and Brian Byrne teaming up to handle all the instruments, has yielded some surprising new music.

“Ritual” (Equal Vision), Envy’s first new music since 2010, isn’t driven by the same angst and rage that made the band Long Island scene heroes back in the day. Instead, songs like “Manic State Park” and “Virginia Girls” are driven by the groove — big, loping bass lines that would sound more at home with Incubus or Hunter’s other band, 1st Vows.

“It’s a page that was half-finished, is now completed, and enables us to sleep at night knowing we can officially move forward,” Hunter says about the songs on the EP. Though “Ritual” shows how much the now duo has matured, Hunter still fills his vocals with passion, especially in the hard-hitting “How to Make a Man/Grenade” and the raucous, hard-charging “Inhaler.” But it’s the epic “Sift,” which showcases both Hunter and Byrne as they craft a soundtrack for a long night, that signals a bright future.

Envy on the Coast plays an acoustic set at Looney Tunes, 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, at 6 p.m. July 18. The event is free if you pre-order the “Ritual” EP at the store.

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