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Bear Brawler : Tales of Deadly Addictions

The awesomely named Bear Brawler sure know how to write monolithic, Monkeypriest style weed-smoking guitar riffs.

Well this must be the first French band I've even heard that plays any kind of doom. I ain't counting all those Neige bands like Alcest and all that stuff. Might be missing out on something key, because the awesomely named Bear Brawler sure know how to write monolithic, Monkeypriest style weed-smoking guitar riffs. This is their second EP and I have tinnitus from the volume it's been playing at.

These guys are fully immersed in retro, southern-fried sludge, the sort of stuff that came along after Eyehategod and the initial wave, and introduced a bunch of rock'n'roll riffs and attitude. The guitar sound is perfect for me, rough around the edges, tons of distortion but really rocking. Like a mix of the Eyehategod crunch, and that beautiful Zoroaster burn. Not to mention the guitarist is evidently a really talented chap, the sort of bloke you could probably put in a far more technical outift. His riffs and general fingerwork are extremely tight. The bass has a classy purr to it and is perfectly levelled. Drums, cracking. Stoner doom often causes me cramps when it comes to the vocals though. There seem to a few different opinions on whether you should go for Distant and Wailing, Scratchy and Blackened, or Some Other Weird Shit. Bear Brawler's vocalist opts for deep and throaty roars that give this beer-stinking, smelly jacket-wearing entity even more bearlike muscle.

You gotta love the swaggering clean guitars that open 'From the Gutter to the Stars' before a fat stoner doom riff marches in to pass it to the left. This is actually a fantastic song, wasting not much time on that big, slow riff, before it energizes into a rocking, Goatsnake-like trip. 'Whiskey and Weed' actually has a double-bass driven death metal verse that will make you want to go for a big stoned wank, it's that tasty. Then its mostly mammoth, crawling riffs before the equally wrathful finale. 'Shine Down' swaggers even more. It has this arrogant, cocksure riff that makes me want to wear an old cap, an unwashed, oversized Sunn 0))) shirt and then not shave and then swagger about in Paris with a rolled up cigarette. Not that I really shave now but I have to find a Sunn 0))) shirt.

The songs aren't so long, which means they have to inject all the hypnosis and weight of a genre that often sprawls into quarter, half or full-hour tracks into five or six minutes or so. They manage it admirably and no point sound unfulfilled or like they haven't got where they planned on going. If you happen to live in France and happen to like stoned arrogant doom, there is no excuse not tracking this down. If you don't live in France, well then you probably have to pay some postage, quit your bitching.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. From the Gutter to the Stars...
2. Whiskey and Weed
3. Shine Down
4. ... to the Gutter

Duration : Approx. 25 minutes

Visit the Bear Brawler bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-06-04 by doom-metal.com
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