Bear Claw
Find the Sun
/sickroom; 2005/

Does a band coming from Chicago and playing a music reminiscent of milestone emocore acts such as The Jesus Lizard and Shellac can be considered in another way than just an epigone or, worse, a rip-off ?? This is the question most people who intended to review this album must have asked themselves. When you hear that this debut album was recorded by Mr Steve Albini, it reinforces the meaning of the aforementioned question: not only some passages are totally reminiscent of Shellac but the enjoyable sound is really Albini-like. The biography tries to answer the question firmly underlining the band’s peculiarity: “The goal was to use two basses but not have them sound like two basses”. Well, Bear Claw is not the first band to adopt this option. I won’t mention any band here. No, I won’t. No use to ask. No means no.

Considering that Only Angels has decided to review discs ‘above-the-average’ and after all the cons I’ve listed, why have I decided to review Find the Sun ??

1) The music is not as gloomy and eerie as early Jesus Lizard, not as nasty and straight to the point as Shellac, but despite its ‘hey this remind me of’ aspect, it is frantic and rather appealing. 2) The press kit still leaves me cold and made me focus on the Chicagoan legacy but Bear Claw can also make you think of early Girls VS Boys (‘Jigsaw’) or Unwound (‘Through a child’s eyes’). 3) Find the Sun is a nice debut for sure and my favourite songs here are the ones that move the band away from their Chicagoan scene. The grungy hook in ‘One ending’ (leaded by a vocal change) added to the aforementioned influences create a catchy, noisy crossover whose stoner aspect might make you think of Mudhoney or Queens of the Stone Age.

-SEB ‘Bastro bistro bastro’ WOOd.

/mar 15th 2005/