Bear Hands

WRITTEN BY
Briana Mowrey

Who? Don't let the cheeky band name fool you into thinking these boys just wanna have pun: though Brooklyn's Dylan Rau (vocals/guitar), Ted Feldman (guitar), Val Loper (bass) and TJ Orscher (drums) have only been together for a little over a year, Bear Hands has hit the live music scene claws-out. They just wrapped up a September residency at the popular Lower East Side venue Pianos, and their debut release, Golden EP, will hit store shelves Nov. 13 via the Freedom In Exile imprint.

What's the Deal? Golden EP's tight four song set is a pitch-perfect pairing of post-punk and indie rock. The energetic guitars crunch with a touch of Ted Leo & the Pharmacists' edge (particularly in upbeat opener "Long Lean Queen"), and Rau's piercing vocals call up comparisons to another idiosyncratic ironist: Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock. But far from being rote, Bear Hands adds complexity and rounds out the more straightforward rock with some melancholy minor chord unease ("Sickly Brunette") and a number built on stutter ("Bad Blood"), both in the chorus and in the pulsating percussion.

Fun Fact: Prior to pruning Bear Hands' jangly indie rock sound, TJ Orscher and Val Loper used to be members of a hardcore band called In Pieces; their biggest fan was Dylan Rau. Rau then begged the two incessantly to record a demo with him and they did just to shut him up. Voil�, Bear Hands was born.

Now Hear This:Bear Hands - "Long Lean Queen" DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:Bear Hands at MySpace bearhandsband.com

Talk: Is Bear Hands' debut effort golden or grisly?

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