Album review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com/
The current line up of Norwich's Bearsuit is quite different to the one which got the ears of Festive 50 voters twitching back in 2004. The art-pop of old remains intact, but on The Phantom Forest it's been given a little more urgency and a more electronic edge than before. A decade on from the band's debut single and there's little sign of stagnation, perhaps due in part to the changing line up.
The writing seems fresh and full of ideas, from the yelping 'A Train Wreck' to the near electroclash of 'When Will I Be Queen' or the urgent post-punk of 'Tentacles'.
Both the lyrics and the lack of formula of the songs make for an intriguing listen.
Bringing in Gareth Parton (the man who's added extra life to albums by The Go Team and Pete And The Pirates amongst others) should have been a master stroke, yet somehow The Phantom Forest sounds a little muddy on occasion, and you can't help but feel that a little extra sparkle may have made it shine that bit brighter.
Still, this is far better than a lot of bands trying to do a similar thing, and most tracks sound like potential singles. You'd imagine John Peel would have approved.
Two free tracks are available from the Fortuna Pop! website:
Please Don't Take Him Back
A Train Wreck
Bearsuit on Myspace
Buy the album.
The Sound Of Confusion on Myspace
The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook