BEAR QUARTET - Angry Brigade

Bear Quartet - Angry Brigade

10 songs
32:39 minutes
***** ****
Decoder / West Side Fabrication


It's a real shame. There is this Swedish band that has already released eleven albums back home, but it takes them a good dozen years to finally reach my ears. Bear Quartet have a lot of routine when it comes to concise song writing, that much is obvious as a first impression, but normally you would expect bands that enter a two-digit release number to have lost some of its initial steam. Not so Bear Quartet. Instead of adhering to one genre, they switch back and forth between Seventies art rock and modern day indie pop. Their take on music is not only absolutely refreshing, they even fail to come up with one less than great song.

The album starts with the five minute track Put Me Together (the longest track on the short album), and instantly revives the faux-hippie glory of early Union Carbide Productions. Wailing nasal vocals charm you through the melofluous, mellowflious (ok, so I invented these adjectives for the purpose of describing this great track), and a decent mellotron that pops up here and there on the record undermines the band's Seventies intentions.

When they rock, they sound like the band album that Television never recorded, especially due to the vocals that have a lot in common with a young Tom Verlaine. The quieter moments owe more to the spacy indie acid universe of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, and anybody who feels at ease between those two extremes will certainly fall in love with Angry Brigade, a masterpiece with a possibly inappropriate title but a perfect content. The only reason that I don't deal the maximum points number is due to the too short length, but apart from that, you won't find many better indie albums this year, especially not in Europe.

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