Chicago’s Bear Claw wear their hometown on their sleeves with their Steve Albini-produced LP Find The Sun, but some might not find that to be a necessarily good thing. With a dark, Shellac-influenced angularity, the two-bassed-trio often find themselves in well-chartered territory with the production further driving them into the niche that At Action Park helped to forge over ten years ago.
However, it’s too easy, and also unfair, to write Bear Claw off in such a manner. This is serious stuff, stuff that’s not afraid of melody, and stuff that does provide some rewards after a few spins.
However, where the band excels musically, they have a tendency to stumble lyrically either with well-worn topics better suited to other genres (punk/indie rock becoming a fashion show), or just, well, over the top chants (“I Wanted You To Die…”).
In past decades, a band’s debut recording might just have been their best, but in today’s musical world, these records are more often left inferior with every passing new release, and rightly so. And while far from bad, I believe in the future Bear Claw has the potential to blow this release away.