Release DetailsLABEL Equal Vision
RELEASED ON 6/14/2005
Bear vs Shark
posted on 6/2005 By:
Ah, yet another chance for our readers to cry foul at an obvious non-metal album being reviewed at our site. A lot of you probably wonder how we get these. Sometimes I do as well, however in this case, Detroit's Bear vs Shark are on Equal Vision, a well known label for releasing bands like Bane, Bars, Converge, Time In Malta, and Circa Survive.
Playing jangly, anxious, mathy rock with strained yelled vocals and sweet harmonies, anyone with an interest in some of the D.C. post-hardcore bands like Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and Jawbox will find a number of great things about Terrorhawk. "The Great Dinosaurs With Fifties Section" briefly explores the more pop-laden sound that a band like Weezer reigns in, while "Baraga Embankment" begins with slight burlesque sounding piano and passive singing, a change from their usual staggered shouting. There's a healthy balance of melody blending with dischord, and that's what makes their sound work so well. The continuing variation and way of finding a middle ground between noisy and choppy riffs, full chords, and stable bass grooves. "Antwan" starts out on a sour and aggressive note, for example, but easily gets bridged together during the chorus to ensure it stays on a lighter plane. It's just good songwriting, that's all it really is. Just listen to the instrumental track, "Song About Old Roller Coaster", which starts at a very slow and melancholy pace, but builds so well to the lush guitar, howling scream, and crashing drums in the song's final minute after a soft and quiet recess. So don't expect dazzling musicianship or some sort of outlandish dynamic bullshit. What you end up with is 43 minutes of heartfelt music that doesn't bombard the listener with sappy melodies and sugary vocals.
For the few people reading this review that might be interested, you can catch them on tour with Planes Mistaken For Stars. I don't care what sort of flak I catch for saying this, but always give yourself a chance to enjoy music outside of metal. Some of the most musically ignorant people I've ever met, and still regularly meet, are die-hard metalheads. It's sad to refer to yourself as such a fan of something, yet have absolutely no exposure to other styles. And while I'll never be able to completely escape the genre, which I don't know if I'd even want to do, bands like Bear vs Shark are just heavy and just complex enough to lure me outside of my confines.
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