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Bear Vs Shark - Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right... (Cover Artwork)

Bear Vs Shark

Bear Vs Shark: Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right...Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right... (2003)
Equal Vision Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: benzBenz
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"Right now, you're in the best of hands. And if something isn't quite right, your doctor will know in a hurry." The words look like someone with a copy of Wordpad and a shitty printer slapped them into the spine of a CD case in a hurry. In many places the words are faded - so much so, that whole .
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"Right now, you're in the best of hands. And if something isn't quite right, your doctor will know in a hurry."

The words look like someone with a copy of Wordpad and a shitty printer slapped them into the spine of a CD case in a hurry. In many places the words are faded - so much so, that whole letters are almost completely scratched away. The booklet, consisting of cheap cardboard paper, an off center staple job, and childlike paintings, could have easily been made on any home computer. The cd itself is a drawing of a cloud (?) with pink highlighter scribbles around it. The whole production would lead one to think that the quality on the disc would be that of lo-fi Strokes ditties.

Escalating, throbbing guitars jump out of the speakers as if they were sailors trapped in a sinking ship, jumbled and crawling over each other fighting each other to get to the surface. Lead singer, Marc Paffi can howl as well as he sings. His semi-raspy voice races over the splashing insruments alongside him. His voice really is quite appealing and suits the band perfectly well. Half the time he is singing at warp speed, especially when he hollars. Many times his words will come out in a huge mess, tripping over his tongue as they escape and falling on top of each other at the gate of his jaws. The line "Take her down to the river" becomes "Takadatadariva!!!". This record is simply exciting.

To describe a good band's sound is hard. You always fuck it up, no matter what. If you held a gun to my head and made me describe Bear Vs. Shark I would say, take a cup of At The Drive-in, a cup of Braid, stir in some Cap'n Jazz, add a slight dash of Rage Against The Machine and As Friends Rust, then bake for 40 minutes and 47 seconds.

Bear Vs. Shark is fueled by A.D.H.D., caffiene and some sort of sonic manifestation of ear love. Damn its good, brah. Jangly guitars and riffs and solos hop in and out around the vocals. There are enough hooks to keep you listening, but I beleive this album is deeper than the band wants you to think. The lyrics are sometimes vague and jumbled, calling to mind the writings of Tim Kinsella and Jordan Billie and Johnny Whitney.

A stand out section is tracks 7 and 8 which really should be considered one song. Track seven is a slow sublime electric guitar strum under softly sung lyrics. The song ends with "Your crutch and your cross, your voltage, your watts, and at the end of the day...". Que track 8, a change in tempo and a more optimistic guitar riff. The lyrics pick up again with "...I'll take what is given to me and I'll realize that I'm not going home". The song(s) really make for a nice atmosphere in the middle of the hyperkinetic powers of caffiene controlling the other tracks.

I would rave about the other songs (especially the first and the last) but they are all quite good. This album gets an "A" by my standards. It's great fun to listen to. Rock out to it in your car or even play it low in your room when you go to sleep. This album makes you want to throw yourself into other people with its loud churning guitars as much as it makes you want to shake your ass to its fine beats. Pick it up if you like cheaply packaged original music that you will listen to much more than a few times.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bear Vs Shark - TerrorhawkThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseOperation Ivy - Operation IvyBrand New - Deja EntenduCircle Takes The Square - As The Roots UndoDescendents - Milo Goes To College

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
moistphily (May 7, 2011)

"Escalating, throbbing guitars jump out of the speakers as if they were sailors trapped in a sinking ship, jumbled and crawling over each other fighting each other to get to the surface."

What a perfect way to describe their sound, hats off to you sir.

Really great album, so interesting.

CherryColaRain (May 29, 2005)

Bear vs. Shark...havent seen them live i hope to one day though. Marc already sounds insane in the CD so live he must be destroyin the stage. Busses/No Busses is One great song...I've yet to determine wat it means though

Anonymous (April 24, 2005)

this is the worse music web site ever

Piebalding (November 19, 2004)

fuck I'm dislexic, half of my review didn't make sense

Piebalding (November 19, 2004)

I had been interested in checking this CD out for quite some time but wasn't going to blow 14 bucks on it. I found it used about a week ago so I picked it up. Boy am I glad I dodn't buy this used. It's a pretty good CD but its not a 14 dollar CD if you understand my meaning. The first 5 tracks of this I though were really good, kind of an indie band playing with some At The Drive In elements. After that though, the album got a little boring. If you can find this CD for a decent price, go ahead and check it out, or just download some songs I guess.

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

i did tell you what the band sounds like. sorry for using an analogy. next time i'll remember to write "and the guitars are distorted and they do a chugging thing".

-benz

Anonymous (March 26, 2004)

I think Flying Shark vs Flying Crocodile would have been a better name.

Anonymous (March 25, 2004)

as much as i enjoy this band, that last guy is right, to a certain extent.

Anonymous (March 24, 2004)

Whoever wrote this review has been reading too many rolling stone rviews. You just say shit that doesn't mean anything... what the hell does Sailor's jumping out of a sinking ship have to do with a rock'n'roll record. Reviews like this are just plain masturbatory writing. It tries to make the author look cool and knowledgable while leaving the reader in the dark as to what the record sounds like.

Anonymous (March 24, 2004)

a re-enactment of an actual indie record store conversation:

average joe employee: we've been selling a lot of these bear vs. shark discs, are they any good?

indie geek employee: no, they fucking suck.

true story.

Dud3 (March 23, 2004)

I guess five hours of sleep will make one overlook the score selection...

Dud3 (March 23, 2004)

After reading that review I was expecting something pretty awesome. Not so. Hardly guitars jumping out of my speakers (and I have six that they could jump from if they were so inclined).

Granted, I haven't heard all their songs, just the four MP3s on their site, but it's safe to say that if four don't do it, the rest won't.

Busses/NoBusses was decent, but the rest I don't think I'll be playing any time soon.

Basically, they're not all that great from what I've heard.

Anonymous (March 22, 2004)

These guys are so nice. Plus kylie is the perfect song.

Icapped2pac (March 22, 2004)

"Not only did he jump off the stage and into the crowd to sing, he also crawled under the stage and proceeded to sing down there for a while, out of sight"

I TOLD you the boy wasn't right. He's been doing that same shit ever since they only played for like 10 people. That makes me remember how I like to watch uptight girls squirm when someone's singing in their faces.

Anonymous (March 22, 2004)

I just saw these guys live for the 2nd time at the Equal Visions showcase at SXSW. They are rtuely phenomenal live. I wish every front man had this guy's energy. Not only did he jump off the stage and into the crowd to sing, he also crawled under the stage and proceeded to sing down there for a while, out of sight. It was rad to say the least.

Anonymous (March 22, 2004)

what i've heard of their music sounds like a half-hearted Hot Water Music, but people say they're phenomenal live (mic-devouring stunts, etc.)

-notaclevername

Anonymous (March 22, 2004)

After reading your comments I don't see how the media can condemn rap for making people stupid. You tell 'em Einstein.

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

Actually, skanknsmile, I believe I said: '...don't give a fuck!' not shit, thus rendering your all ready lame joke even lamer.

Moron.

--Bing Crosby.

P.S. The other guy who likes Minor Threat...I'm sure humanity could give less than a shit whether you respect it or not.

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

make sure you catch these guys live. they are damn good. i wrote a review on a show i saw them at here: http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumreview&id=2476

-be nz

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

i just found out they are coming by my town, which is awesome. i'm excited. what does glasseater sound like nowadays. i never heard anything past that miles ahead of where we are now or whatever it is. i didn't even know they were still a band.

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

My respect for humanity drops another notch.

My respect for this sites comedy content, however, climbs up one.

Minor Threat

skanknsmile (March 21, 2004)

you heard him folks he doesnt give shit, but he certainly doesnt have anything against recieving shit, FIRE AWAY!

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

I dont' get it. A friend of mine bought this album used and I was just fucking bored the whole time I listened to it. I don't see why they're so amazing, or see how they've got a great, crisp, exciting sound.

And CaP'n Jazz owns this band. Period.

--Bing Crosby

P.S. 'Vanilla Ice spill the beans and rice. I'm eatin' you alive inside! Jesus Christ! If you'da had much of a gangster, put the mic down. You should be out killing motherfuckers right now. Kill a motherfucker dead, kill him dead, bitch. Shoot him in the fucking head, go ahead, bitch.'
--Eminem

P.P.S. Before you start coming up with clever, and more often than not, not so clever, insults for me and my liking of rap be forwarned:
"I don't give a fuck what you think!"

skanknsmile (March 20, 2004)

bad ass record. on of my favorites infact

Anonymous (March 20, 2004)

I saw this band live, their singer had more stage presence than most I've ever seen. They rip.

But there should be a rule that album titles can't be more than seven or eight words. It's just too much.

And when it comes down to a bear vs. a shark ... I gotta root for the bear on that one. Maybe that's just me.

- Fatty Arbuckle

Anonymous (March 20, 2004)

Awesome band, awesome album, even awesomer live show.

Anonymous (March 20, 2004)

hey someone here has a sense of humor. for once.

Icapped2pac (March 19, 2004)

Yeah, that's because it hit my toe. That was me screaming in pain. I knew it would almost surely result in pain and backlash, but I decided to do it anyway. At least I didn't tell you about the time I met Geoff Rickley.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

hey, did anyone else hear that name drop? it was pretty fucking loud.

Icapped2pac (March 19, 2004)

I'm pretty good friends with the main bass player of this band (the 3 string players switch off often), so I'm somewhat biased, but this is a great album if only for the originality. Honestly, I lied to him for a while saying I liked them, but I just couldn't get into it most of the time. But now after listening to this 10 or so times, I'm finally beginning to grasp it. And for those of you who like these guys, you partially have me to thank. I gave John (the bassist) a copy of "Four Minute Mile" which he has told me completely changed his outlook on music. He also had never heard of Shiner before I turned him on to them... poor uneducated fool. Anyway, if you even remotely like them, make it a point to go see them live when they come around, they fuckin tear it up. Mark, the singer, is a fairly quiet guy when the mic's not in his hand, but when he gets on stage, some switch gets flipped and he turns into a stark-raving lunatic. I watched them play at a house party a few summers ago near Eastern Michigan U. and in the middle of a song he just walked away from the band, into somebody's bedroom and kept right on singing like he wasn't up to anything. Then the fuckin Ypsilanti cops showed up and shut the party down 3 songs into their set. Reeeeeal fuckin weak. Ypsi is such a shithole anyways, who really gives a fuck about some noise on a saturday night? Somebody must ahve gotten mad because they couldn't hear the sound of their timer going off and burned their crack or meth batch.

inagreendase (March 19, 2004)

good review, and as far as this is concerned--

" but they're clearly in the Hot Water Music/Avail/Small Brown Bike family musically."

agreed.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

mp3s!

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

Does no one else hear the striking similarity in (i'm not certain of the track number, but i think it's) Track 8 to a Weezer song off of the Blue Album... I think its the Jonah song... or whatever it's called...?

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

I made the Cap'n Jazz comparison because a bunch of BvS songs sound like well organized chaos, much like Cap'n Jazz. Also, the lyrics are written in a stream-of-conciousness writing style, much like Cap'n Jazz.

-benz

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

Jazz is a genre of music, dumbass.

Elsewhere it's been written that BvS have jazz (the genre) influences.

Although, now that it's been brought up - I don't get the Cap'n Jazz comparison to BvS.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

F-Minus the Bear vs. Shark.

Ashes ashes ashes ashes fire fire ashes ashes ashes fire fire ashes ashes Autumn.

Moon, matches, gasoline.

Bullets.

baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby.

End.

ElVaquero (March 19, 2004)

Bear!

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

"I've also read a lot about BvS's "jazz" leanings, and think that it's entirely overblown"

Cap'n Jazz is a band dumbass!

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

good review and even a better album. These guys dont get nearly as much credit as they deserve, and i wouldnt compare these guys to anyone, im not saying their THE most original band ever but they aren't like the rest of the crap that people like.......

Blarg (March 19, 2004)

The vocals on this are fantastic. However, I really enjoyed the first 4 or 5 tracks, then it just kind of slowed down. That's just me. The first five tracks were incredible though.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

I don't know about the review.... I mean, BvS are fabulous - no question - but they're clearly in the Hot Water Music/Avail/Small Brown Bike family musically.

I've also read a lot about BvS's "jazz" leanings, and think that it's entirely overblown. They are, however, better musicians playing more textured music than most other punk bands.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

i quite enjoy bear vs shark. "busses/no busses" is an awesome song.

Anonymous (March 19, 2004)

I missed them at the BANE show.

BANE was good, though.

Minor Threat

maverick (March 19, 2004)

This album rips.

-Scott

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