Bearfoot Beware aren’t one of the easiest bands to quickly define. The Leeds based three-piece have been dabbling in punk, math-rock and hardcore since they started up. With their latest album ‘Sea Magnolia’, they’ve doubled down on their marriage of these genres, taking them further and more experimentally than on their past work.
From the very first moments of opening track ‘Point Scorer’, you can feel the punk energy that runs through the veins of this album. Punchy guitar rhythms underline a catchy but energetic vocal performance. Vocalist Thomas Bradley shows off his talents throughout the run-time, doing smooth hooks here before going on to do a spoken-word verse on ‘Knot In The Rope’, and his signature punk yells come up constantly throughout the project.
The more technical sound heard on previous work does eventually creep back in as the album progresses. While there aren’t any outrageously weird or complex rhythms and time signatures, there is a constantly returning sense of groove from Michael Osbornes’ drumming and Bradley’s guitars throughout. ‘Philistines’ bursts out with a particularly great breakdown, welcoming in skittish melodies over a relentless set of basslines. ‘No Wisdom’ features one of the most mesmerizing riffs on the album, opening out with it before devolving into a more traditional rock track, and slowly folding the weirder stuff back in until the song finishes up with an explosive finale.
‘Future Beaut’ is a minute-long noise-fest, a short but sweet crush of guitars and swift beats, briefly divided by an almost announcement-like vocal moment. It’s the opposite impact of a typical interlude, a rush of tense power between longer, more strategically forceful songs.
The album is ended by a messy, psychedelic title track that captures the group’s good sense to tread new ground. The band grabs onto their wide range of genres and influences and pushes them to their limits, expanding on the tried-and-tested stuff they have already proven very capable of to great effect.
‘Sea Magnolia’ by Bearfoot Beware is out now on Superstar Destroyer Records.
Words by Sam Seaton (@BIMMBrighton )