This is an EP that really deserves some serious attention, as it amuses and enthrals this listener in equal measure. At first listening, we have the usual sonic echoes of The Libertines and The Artic Monkeys, but repeated listenings unearth many hidden musical gems. This band may tread the same road of “Englishness” that those combo’s did, but we have glimpses of musical vaulting ambition to come.
This is a five track EP, which kicks off bright and breezy with the indie jangle of “Beats Before The Thunder”, which sees Bear Paw set out their musical stall. It has a lovely, effortless sixties vibe, with great lyrics and vocals, which add up to some serious sing-a-long potential. Up next is the previous single, “Moonshaped”, which really is the love-child a union between the Artic Monkeys and The Pretenders, and is a song again to have your feet tapping with joy. The third track is “Everyone Seems Normal”, which sees us shifting down the gears – at first – but then click click clicks back into Bear Paw scented musical territory.
However, the track that hints at progression and musical development to come is the superb and evocative “Santa Maria”, that starts with some very neat finger-picking, melancholy vocals and an absolutely lovely chorus –
“…..Do you know the way to Santa Maria?
Someone told me South but there’s nothing, not here, Just fishing boats and bad ideas
And they drift about like tumble-weeds”
I can just imagine singing this to myself in the summer, looking over a quayside, with a drink in hand,
pondering both the past and the future….