REVIEW: Bear Hands take risks on ‘You’ll Pay For This’

bear hands album review

Artist: Bear Hands
Album: You’ll Pay For This
Genre: Indie Rock, Experimental
Label: Spensive Sounds

Bear Hands is one of those rare acts that have spent their trajectory making sure that each record is slightly different from the last rather than only purporting that it is. “Giants,” off 2014’s Distraction, which became their first breakthrough single and charted at number 8 on the Billboard Alternative Song Charts, contains elements of rap-rock while most of their songs are mainly post-punk driven.

In their third studio album, You’ll Pay For This, the Brooklyn-based four-piece deviates from their heavier, guitar-driven tracks to flirt with new sounds, displaying a sense of maturity in the process.

Things kick off with the electro-pop-laden track “I Won’t Pay” which gets an unexpected dose of guitar riffs two-thirds of the way in. It’s not the only surprise the band packed into this record, though. The acoustic cut, “The Shallows,” plays like a lullaby as vocalist Dylan Rau sings about unity and being in a sense of “home” when everything else has gone to crap. Don’t be too surprised if this becomes a staple in Bear Hands’ setlist in the near future.

“2 AM,” the band’s latest single (along with “Marathon Man”) is a brutally honest representation of being in the twilight of the partying and staying out all night stage and opting to stay at home rather than going out. “All your friends are sober / yeah we’re getting older / going out’s a drag now,” Rau sings.

The upbeat, ambient-influenced “Marathon Man” deals with someone being at the end of their ropes in a particular relationship or situation and merely acknowledging it while the uplifting, closing track, “Purpose Filled Life,” provides a sense of optimism at a crucial point where the album needs it most. The lyrics “Oooh don’t let me be no kind of burden / just let me work and I will earn it / I want my life to have a purpose / tell me if you think I deserve it” touch on a basic human desire to not only be respected but be accepted by the people who matter to us most.

If there’s anything that can be taken away from You’ll Pay For This, it’s that Bear Hands are continually growing confidence in taking risks with their sound and further pushing the envelope than they previously did within their first two records.

SCORE: 7.5/10

Bianca Silva

Bianca Silva has two main passions in life: music and photography. When she's not wiring about it, you can catch her at a show with her friends or by herself. And outside the musical realm, you can find her ranting endlessly about baseball, especially the New York Mets.
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