Bear Hands "Distraction"
Sometimes you see a great band and wonder why they have never been picked up by a label, especially when you compare it to some of the bottom biscuits that does catch the ear of 'the man'.
Luckily some have the gumption and belief to do it themselves, enter Brooklyn quartet Bear Hands.
Their American lilt combine with their exuberance and their choppy sustain devoid rhythm guitars to produce a sound mixing the energy of Limp Bizkit with the kookiness of Mercury Rev and the pop sensibilities of The Smiths. This is more than an Alternative guitar album laced with melodies.
Lead track Giants mixes raw distorted bass with break beat drum patterns and semi-rap vocalisations before swirling huge guitar melodies over the chorus.
Agora meanwhile moves from the delicacy of a barely whispered verse to a chorus bulging with the sort of overblown guitar treatments worthy of The Edge moonlighting with Simple Minds.
This release (now on a major label) does showcase a rich vein of ideas ultimately always overlaid with a smiling crowd friendly sheen.
Despite its title Bone Digger has enough pop sensibilities to make it onto a Prefab Sprout collection.
Distraction demonstrates that a DIY ethic and recording your album at your mums doesn't have to mean Lo-Fi obscurity, this album successfully combines guitar pop, punk and white middle class hip-hop influences. (7/10)