Fight The Bear - Dead Sea Fruit
Many bands forget the importance of local media, hedging their bets on getting mainstream acceptance from the likes of Radio One. This is where many bands go wrong. I first heard Fight The Bear on Shropshire Radio, who were celebrating the fact that their hometown band had gained inclusion into the T In The Park festival line-up, who wouldn't be proud of that, local boys done good.
'Dead Sea Fruit', the terribly named full length record is the home of many of the tracks those who went to T In The Park would have heard. 'No Soldier', the radio friendly single from the record is the biggest stand-out track here, a laid-back ska track (think more The Police on a downer than Less Than Jake here). A brilliantly penned track about not understanding the war and the reasons to fight, it's you're usual punk "why can't we just get along" sort of song, but with a more sombre attitude than we would hear from our American counterparts. It also has some lovely musical touches on the chorus that really make it a delight to listen to, little vocal melodies overdubbed later with a lead guitar melody that works fantastically - definitely one to be listened to rathered than described.
'Moon' treads on the ground cover by the much missed (in my mind anyway) Farse, mixing that bright fun stereotypical ska guitar riff but mixing it with a hard, heavy, I'm going to rip off your face type of distorted guitar riff.
While 'We've Got It All' does exactly what every final song on an album should do, bringing the tone right back down into the sombre mood that 'No Soldier' create before bringing out the big guns and proving (if they hadn't already) that Fight The Bear are a band that can pen a chorus.
'Dead Sea Fruit' isn't without it's flaws though, and they tend to be heavy one's. Vocally, the band work better when they are on the more downbeat section of their sound but it just so happens that the majority of this album is upbeat. Musically at times, they tend to fall into a cliché ska sound confused with mainstream rock aspirations, which brings you to the assumption that they are just a band by numbers with a desperate need for a great producer - a very wrong assumption and one that they need to address themselves because it is clear with the likes of 'No Soldier' that Fight The Bear could really be onto something. One's to watch, definitely.
3 / 5