Hello Bear – I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?


A trap waiting to grab your imagination and energy, I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? more than lives up to its title with its bouncy persona and rousing spirit. The new EP from British quartet Hello Bear, the four-track stomp is a sparkling burst of power/punk pop which may not carry major surprises but is as fresh and vibrant as anything escaping the year so far.

Formed in 2010, the Norwich bred band take inspiration found in the likes of Weezer, Pavement, Los Campesinos!, Refused, The Bronx, Presidents of the USA, McFly, Johnny Foreigner, and Dananananaykroyd into their own highly flavoursome exploits. Invigorating as a live presence which has seen Hello Bear play with bands such as Los Campesinos, Coasts, Darwin Deez, The Futureheads, and The King Blues, their sound is an ear grabber which now refuses to be ignored within the band’s new offering. The press release accompanying the EP suggests it carries “their most exciting material to date.” Being our introduction to Hello Bear it is hard to confirm or argue, but exciting the Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana, Trash Boat, Hopeless Records) produced release is and relentlessly enjoyable.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? opens up with new single We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarrassed, the collective energy and enterprise of Luke Bear (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Mary Bear (guitar), Tom Bear (bass), and Daryl Bear (drums) hitting the floor running. A lone strum entices first being quickly joined by the potent tones of Luke before the song jumps on ears with eager riffs and canny rhythms. In no time it is into an infectious stroll with hooks and melodies uniting to charm attention before brewing and finally expelling a virulent contagion through its irresistible chorus. There is no escaping joining those offering Blink 182 meets Weezer as a reference for the tenaciously lively sound of song and band; add a touch of Super Happy Fun Club and The All-American Rejects though and the mix is even closer to the rousing incitement.

hello-bear-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe following Mmm Cheque Please! makes a just as striking entrance, another single strain of guitar bait making the first lure, rampant beats and Luke’s inviting vocals the next  before it all blooms into another infectious canter. Daryl’s beats resonate as they land and Tom’s basslines grumble as much as they seduce while Mary and Luke share a tapestry of hooks and melodic endeavour which only leads to a greater appetite for song and release. Admittedly the track lacks the final spark which ignites its predecessor but leaves pleasure bubbling eagerly as does Dirty Weekend with its more restrained but wholly magnetic presence. Repeating a prowess which confirms Hello Bear masterful at creating big choruses and ripe hooks which simply infest the psyche, the song lays lustfully upon the senses.

The EP ends as its starts with a track which just whips up the passions. Attack Hug Influences is addiction for the ears, a slice of rock pop which seizes hold of body and spirit in a breathless romp complete with spicy hooks, tenacious rhythms, and a vocal coaxing which virtually forces listener involvement.

It is a boisterous end to a release which demands a party is woven around its presence each and every time. No moments of major uniqueness, all irresistible fun fuelled ingenuity; that is I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?, one of the most enjoyable adventures this year.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? is released November 11th

http://www.hellobear.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/hellobear/    https://twitter.com/hellobearband

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

On The Open Road – Storyteller

On The Open Road Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

With pop punk releases seeming to be coming thick and fast already in 2016, Storyteller is another well worth giving some attention to. The new EP, or should that be album with its eight boisterous tracks, comes from UK punksters On The Open Road. It is a collection of rousing and openly accomplished tracks which may not veer on the side of uniqueness but certainly provides plenty to be thoroughly satisfied by.

Formed at the beginning of 2013, the Nottingham hailing On The Open Road began as the school friend trio of vocalist/guitarist Tom Hawk, bassist Dan Abey, and drummer Ollie Green. The release of their debut EP was not long in coming or soon after, the decision to grow with the addition of lead guitarist Jack Dutton. Musically the band draws on inspirations taken from the likes of Blink-182, Sum 41, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and A Day To Remember, a mix flavouring a sound which quickly ensured the band was an eagerly followed live proposal. Last year, the quartet released the Harm’s Way EP to potent responses, a success easy to expect being emulated by Storyteller.

Chump! starts things off, band vocals leaping into ears straight away amidst an antagonistic yet welcoming collusion of rhythms and riffs. It is an enjoyably rowdy start which slips straight into the like-minded and similarly sounding No Rush. The opener is really an extensive ‘intro’ to the second track which soon involves ears in its own boisterous canter interspersed with calmer strolls and emotive escapades. Retaining its aggressive energy and highly catchy anthemic prowess throughout, the song provides a tenacious slice of high energy pop punk with a familiar wrapping to a fresh heart in sound and enterprise.

On The Open Road Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe following Smooth Sailing Is A Fool’s Thought makes a heady entrance too, quickly arousing ears with its infectious temptation driven by a vocal energy and variation from Hawk and band. It is a potent element matched by the predatory riffs and rhythms badgering and inciting the sonic flames and piercing hooks also trespassing on the senses. Though it holds a similarity to songs around it, a trait all tracks have to good and at times frustrating effect, and entangles ears in recognisable spices from elsewhere, the song is a roar to greedily and regularly devour.

The grouchier tone and inescapable contagion of Regret Me Not hits the sweet spot quickly too. Again it is easy to offer up comparisons such as Blink 182 and The All-American Rejects but equally there is no stopping the track’s irresistible lures and a rich enjoyment of its sparkling character and revelry.

Current single Rainy Days steps up next with rapier like beats and bulky riffs stalking ears first before vocals and melodies wrap suggestively around the song’s bracing bellow. It is a potent invitation into the release though for personal tastes it is outshone by the thick qualities of the previous pair of songs, each suitable as an attention grabbing single. Nevertheless it leaves a want to hear more which Bedrock keenly provides. Starting with a melodic seducing which rises into a voracious tempest of hooks and imposing rhythms driven by the vocal eagerness of Hawk, the track is a resourceful and pleasing confrontation which, as the release itself, impresses more with every listen.

The enjoyable This Is Goodbye (I Tried) keeps things ruggedly energised and attention still firmly in the hands of On The Open Road before letting The Worst Guy bring things to a ferocious close. Featuring Adam Connor, the track is a minute and a half of blistering punk rock with highly welcomed primal and hostile tendencies which stands up there with Smooth Sailing Is A Fool’s Thought and Regret Me Not as the major highlights of Storyteller.

On The Open Road has yet to find a sound which stands unique to the crowd but they do have an ability to create seriously catchy and anthemic exploits which stir up an appetite for more. A success so many others would kill for.

Storyteller is released on February 26th via all outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/ontheopenroaduk https://twitter.com/ontheopenroaduk

Pete RingMaster 24/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Liar Liar: He Said She Said EP

With more bounce than Tigger in a trampoline factory and as endearing as Justin Bieber losing his voice, the debut EP from UK pop punks Liar Liar is one melody fest riding a wave of unbridled energy and impressive craft. The He Said She Said EP treats the ear to four bombs of power pop which easily please and ooze immense promise for the future. The release shows the band has still to find its own distinct voice but with a quartet of more than solid hungry companions within its cover, the EP is one contagious ball of energy and charm to fully engage with.

Sheffield based and formed at the very beginning of the year, Liar Liar with a clutch of well prepared songs in their armoury was soon thrilling audiences locally and across their county, successful shows which saw them gain a swiftly growing fan base and support slots with the likes of Paige and Summerlin. Taking the summer to work on and record their debut, Liar Liar unleash a vibrant and basically impressive release which will put the rest of the country on alert for their  promising and enjoyable sounds.

As soon as opener Heart Attack gets into its stride you know you are in for a ride which sounds like a blend of You Me At Six, New Found Glory, and The All-American Rejects, the latter a band you can quite easily see Liar Liar forging a creativity like in the future, not necessarily in sound but in style and imagination. The song saunters along at the beginning, the vocals of Joe Daniels strong and confident whilst his guitar play and that of Jake Lawton lays an energetic and eager breath to the track. The track soon explodes into surges of feisty and charged energy and pace with firm jabbing rhythms from drummer Jack Dudill (who has since left the band) and the gnarly bass of Liam Bates adding their weight to fire up the enthusiasm even more, the track becoming an anthemic and infectious treat.

It is a strong and compelling start easily matched by High N’ Low. The guitars immediately are gnawing at the ear with slightly abrasive yet inviting tenderizing riffs before the beats make their presence known. The track soon settles into another overall even paced attack though once more offering elevated moments of power. As melodies roam around the song with accomplish and eagerness alongside great harmonies between Daniels and Bates especially for the thumping chorus, the track hits all the right spots. Yes the song and release arguably does not stand a million miles from many other bands but whether those others have raised as great an impression and satisfaction from their first introduction as Liar Liar do, is to be doubted.

Lyrically the songs focus on relationships which have faltered or gone wrong and the aftermath, which makes for a release certainly easy to relate to for all though there is no moment where a track stands and feels sorry for itself, all a fast and keen confrontation of catchy hooks and melodies within a frame of pulse racing energy. People Never Change is a potent song driven by thumping beats and the great disgruntled bass sound of Bates, one of the biggest highlights on the release. Emotive and reflective, the track is a less explosive but still as intense affair bursting with group choruses and inventive hooks. Probably of all the songs, this is the one which more than hints at the imaginative and even more adventurous song writing one expects ahead, the song of all, the one which drew The All-American Rejects comparison.

    It Doesn’t Take A Hero closes up the fun with a flood of biting riffs and flowing harmonies shaped by pounding rhythms and again raging passion and energy. It is a fine end to a high quality and consistent release. It pumps its fist and ignites the heart from start to finish to leave one feeling energised, so ok sound wise the band has a little way to go stand alone but for pleasure giving they lack little. Liar Liar is a band you can only see rising to great heights and offering even greater moments in the future.


RingMaster 03/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright