Bear vs Shark - Terrorhawk
I was all over Bear vs. Shark when they came out with their 2003 debut, Right Now You Are In The Best of Hands. Then I forgot about them. It happens. I mean, I listen to more music that about 90% of the average person and even then, so much slips through my fingers, sometimes unlistened, sometimes not given the attention a release deserves. Anyway, this Michigan band is back with their sophomore album, Terrorhawk and they are out to impress me a second time. Terrorhawk has some similarities with it's predecessor but there is definitely refinement here. Now they got lumped into the emo category but I argue, what is emo? These guys have a knack for a good hook but they also have one foot into a hardcore sound. There isn't any whining going on like emo has become to be known for, and that is fine with me. No Dashboard Confessional here. No, Bear vs. Shark probably has more in common with the likes of DC natives Fugazi than any of the Thursdays or such out there. Terrorhawk comes highly recommended.
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on 2008-03-05 joechuck_norris Said:
An extremely passionate album, that I was all about. The live show is jaw dropping. If you're interested, they split into "Champions of History" and "Cannons." Both have a myspace. check em. I really dig Champions of History, and think that when they decide to break, they're going to explode based on their previous and existing fan base.
on 2007-10-21 Symphony Said:
Excellent user review.
on 2007-10-21 hstisgod Said:
Don't think I'll walk into this review blurting out BS in reference to my past experiences with Bear Vs. Shark, cause that's exactly what it would be, B.S. To this point BVS (as they are most commonly known as) have made a strong following for themselves. I should tell you, I've been warned time and time again about the spirit of funk metal and punk morphing since their Equal Vision Records 2003 debut "Right Now, You're In The Best Of Hands". But there I was earlier this year (2005) at the Equal Vision Records SXSW showcase finally witnessing for myself the sheer power and passion, and I was finally aware. Yesterday 'Terrorhawk" arrived in my mailbox and I'm still kicking myself for not having paid closer attention to begin with. I suppose I went ahead and blurted out anyways...
Nothing like anyone comprable in a very cookie cutter Hard Rock scene, Bear Vs. Shark attacks a listener in their own very unprecedented way., 'Cuse the pun here, but imagine your well being stuck in between a fight of those aforementioned species and you may very well have an idea of what it's like to experience the music for yourself.
Track one "Catamaran" begins with a hopped up six string ditty, and a calm vocal intro. For those who only crave this style, put your wallet or purse away and move on. "Terrorhawk" will change from this so many times you'll certainly feel clawed and bitten by the end of the record. I guess that is what is so gawd damned attractive about this track (whole album).It simply never slows down enough to rest your feet and hands which invariably bounce with the bottom line bass and drum beat. All the while the tempo of the guitars and vocals hit decadent peaks and valleys.
Track two "5, 6 Kids" features a more controlled format, the guitar takes on a sound more like a small community of bees swarming in. Just about two minutes in you're given a tiny taste of whats to come. The pace cuts down to a crawl, only to fuse itself back into the punchy chorus. Track five "Baraga Embankment" is a piano soaked track that shows the vocal ranges of lead man Marc Paffi. The keys of the piano are almost child-like, but I'm not quite sure where I've hear it before. So simple but so strong, this is still a hard rock album. So the piano must take a different shape and make room for guitars, bass and drums. However, for good measure what do you say to throwing some brass into the mix? Quite frankly this is the best damn lounge metal I've ever experienced.
Track six "Entrance Of The Elected" is here, and this is by far the most memorable of the fight. A quick handshake of instrumentation feeds this track, then without notice the agression drops once again in favor of an infectious and constant clean bass line as Paffi steps in between each rhythm like a new school Henry Rollins. By the time the second chorus comes around, I'm officialy inside of complete content with Paffi's vocal ranges. So scratchy so bluesy, it makes a point with tempo and pass like its one with the fusion instrumentation. On track eight "What A Horrible Night For A Curse", I can almost envision these two ferocious animals heading back to their corners for an intermission. The two predators (Bear, Shark) taking their turns throwing blank stares into the eyes of the listener, more so a respectful 'I can kick it in any style or genre' kind of stare. Though in the middle of this song, a strong minute is spent cranking up the guitars, drums and bass, the meat of the song is a constant dream like atmosphere.
Track 10 "India Foot" begins with a computer generated destruction overload warning. After that you can contemplate for yourself what tempo the music stays at until a little over a minute in. That's when once again high peak battle grounds become low valleys. Until ofcourse the track pushes towards a slamming, vocal chord ripping abrupt ending.
Perhaps this whole time I've been wrongfully envisioning the band name as the most fitting of title's. Who can blame me as I can still vividily remember the unique banding in which they performed live together. The veins bulging from Paffi's neck, as his face (only covered by the strings of his sweaty hair) turned as red as blood from belting out lyrics. All while the supporting band members set up a mean tone showing fangs and all. Now I'm thinking it's the album title which needs to be envisioned as the most fitting word association. Imagine the most rare hawk flying in at insane speeds from unimaginable depths in the sky to peck on the earth and its every fighting earth bound creature. Either way I must find a way to devote some time to their debut album.PS. As with the debut album, the artwork featured here is Paffi's
on 2007-07-31 hstisgod Said:
nevermind...I was gonna post a big ass review, but Dennis does it justice! Terrific album, sad loss for all listeners!
on 2007-07-31 blackxdan Said:
Bear Versus Shark knows how to make a great album. When i first got my hands on this little treasure, i couldnt stop listening to them. I think there is somethin really special about this band, and they showed most of their potential with this sophomore release. The vocals are amazing, and i love the guitar and drums. If listened to enough, this album has great lasting value. They do a great job mixing in with the hardcore genre, as well as remembering to make their songs memberable. Great band with a good release, i think they deserve a chance to be heard by the lot of you all.