Music » Livewire

Bear vs. Shark

With Heads Will Role and Monet.Madrid.Madagascar. Saturday, September 3, at the Beachland Ballroom.

by

comment
This Michigan quintet sounds like the orphaned children of several genres, mixing supple post-punk, a distortion-drenched wall of guitar riffing, and indie rock melodicism in a gumbo of dynamics and aggression. There are echoes of emo in the band's '90s alt-rock influences; some tracks stumble forward, limping with obvious pain and vulnerability, but the sound is as much Sebadoh's Lou Barlow as Promise Ring's Davey Von Bohlen.

Songs such as "Seconds" off Bear vs. Shark's 2003 debut, You're in the Best of Hands, burst out of their torpid stroll with ringing guitars reminiscent of the Wedding Present. At other times, their churning angularity conjures D.C. post-hardcore, like Railroad Jerk or Rites of Spring, before crisscrossing guitar lines hit a straightaway, cranking up the distortion as though they were channeling Hüsker Dü. It's noisy, chaotic, and exciting. Bear vs. Shark balances the different influences while keeping the songs concise and kinetic, effectively combining hardcore's thundering passion and indie rock's devotion to melody and songcraft. This is one of the country's best unsung acts.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.