"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.