Belting engine on this band… Listen to the way that Amerikan Bear motor through the second track on their S/T album, ‘Summer Day’. It’s so finely tuned, yet spewing raw masculinity that it summons images of a Ford Mustang in a cross Nevada chase. Outta the way, folks, Steve McQueen is gonna to blow away the bad guys!
This sound is 60s garage rock, delivered in a hot, sticky, hairy embrace.
Frontman Bear sings with rasping, Roky Erickson grunts. He sounds like a man so attuned to rock ‘n’ roll he doesn’t deign to use actual whole words, preferring noises. On the opener, ‘It Ain’t Free’ he yelps and shrieks, a caged and paranoid animal. It took Mark E Smith 30 years to eschew words entirely so fair play, man! I’m being disingenuous, Bear does of course have lyrics, but delivers the songs in such a rough-housing, window-breaking style the force he transmits is what’s memorable.
The guitars (Bear again & Omar) are high tension lines of surf, not a million miles away from the electric eel wranglings of Tim Pressley (Darker My Love & White Fence). The rhythm section (Nick & Andy) is a stoked rhythm and boogie machine, churning out bruising knuckle duster scraps.
From the strangulated soul of ‘The Messenger’ to the waspish garage rocker ‘Get A Grip On Yourself’ they kick it out hard and lascivious. ‘In My Dreams’ is a moonshine guzzling blast.
Amerikan Bear. They’ll rip yer face off.