Bear Hands – Distraction


Artist

Album

Distraction

Label

Cantora Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Tan Vampires - Harlem

Summary

The death of the genre.

Rating

80 / 100

Every now and then, a band will write an album that is a bright and beautiful "fuck you" to the idea of genre. Generally this comes from musicians just being good musicians and letting their feelings control the music they write as opposed to any pre-conceived ideas of what they should sound like. Bear Hands have done exactly this on their second album ‘Distraction.’

The key-laden progressive rock of opener ‘Moments Of Silence’ takes its cues from the wave of 80’s inspired pop-rock that seems to be creeping back in these days. Interestingly enough however, and this track is further proof, it’s not a bad thing. The 80’s weren’t great but along with TV shows, they did well with some music.

Lyrically, the album is filled with pop culture references and an interesting look into the psyche and personality faults of its main character, the lyrics may as well have been written from the couch in a psychologist’s office by a mild sociopath with a tendency towards hip-hop. There are moments throughout the record where Bear Hands fall back to their old sounds in such a precise and obvious way. It’s almost like they have set little reminders for the listener of which band this actually is. ‘Bad Friend’ is a good example of this as it tones down the experimentation and genre poking, going for something a little more straight-forward in the indie spectrum.

‘Vile Iowa’ is somewhat the record’s love song, a mild electro number driven by sultry vocals, which is then brought back into the world of rock near the tail end of the album with tracks like the up-tempo axe fest ‘Sleeping On The Floor’.

The ordeal ends with ‘Thought Wrong’, a track that is led by its frantic drum patterns and what seems like the demise of the hope that the narrator has been building throughout the playlist, what goes up must come down.

Conclusion

This may well be Bear Hands’ most interesting work so far. It is a change in the band’s dynamic and a statement from musicians who are not too worried about pushing some musical boundaries and ignoring the rules of genre.

Tracklisting

1. Moment of Silence
2. Giants
3. Agora
4. Bone Digger
5. Vile Iowa
6. Bad Friend
7. The Bug
8. Peacekeeper
9. Sleeping on the Floor
10. Party Hats
11. Thought Wrong

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