Well, you gotta give it to them: The Swedish band Bear Bone Company sport a swagger that lets them strut about the scene to a point that they risk stumbling over some of their body parts. When I saw their somewhat meager, but decidedly juicy bio, I thought this better be THAT good. And you know what? I kinda like it.
The band joins us from Örebro in Sweden but brandishes a real California-gone-New-Orleans look and feel. That southern scratchy sound that just calls out for feisty bikes and leather boots.
The band formed back in 2012 and they are now (finally) ready to go full length for the first time. And they do this in a powerful, but amazingly carefree style. Exactly the way this kind of tune should be performed.
The Bear Bone Company does have its eternal hunting grounds somewhere in the ’80s and deeply buried in its Hard and Heavy Rock. And do I detect some Mötley Crüe in there as well? By and large, their record is a wild mix of things. Kinda like, if they can beat the drums to smithereens and scream like Hetfield with scratchy guitars screeching away, then this is their territory. But it’s a very great and utterly juicy territory.
Rock-solid, southern-flavored Heavy Rock. They got crunch, they got power, they got riffs. Stellar solos at every corner of their universe. They got pretty good pipes at work from the lead singer, reaching quite stellar heights. Yet it is down ‘n’ dirty Heavy Rock of the whiskey-fueled type as they claim, no doubt. And somehow, their tune always reminds me of outfits like Vinyl Hero or – surely – Last Bullet.
Now, does the Bear Bone Company live up to the stuff they strut?
Well, hold on to your hat! Fade is nothing for the fading heart, it takes you on a wild ride. I really like the crunchy continuation in Kiss ‘n Tell, perhaps a bit too cheesy in the refrain. But again, the track comes backed up by a riff that just makes me jump around the room when I should be writing on my machine. Then we are graced by the catchy Don’t Belong. Okay, my evil twin whispers to me that this was made for the mainstream crowd to market it better.
After that, the record kind of loses steam, until Hanging hits that dusty road. And this is when the lead singer really unpacks his vocal cords. And I mean really unpacks them. Jeez. Why did we not get more of that before?
And then you get that Hard Rock piece with a metallic hue called Falling Down. Well, Drinking Time Again just got me to forget my beer I was … drinking when first listening to the record. A powerful track.
The main shortfall of this album is not the production or the energy. There is plenty of that. It is the somewhat repetitive song structure of all tracks Bear Bone Company. The record sometimes feels like too much Miller beer at one of those never-ending parties. After a while, you lose the taste and just consume it. Then the frontman sounds kind of underused at times. They should have milked that one better to increase their sound quality.
And there is another issue: The marketing is just bad and I guess this is why they signed with Sliptrick Records. Apart from the snazzy intro, there is nothing or not much. A few ill-sounding soundbites on the internet, a little bit of info here and there. Otherwise? Nada! Just to illustrate a little more, when looking for band members, this is what I find:
B.K. – Guitar and Lead Vocal
Knauz – Drums
J.Martin. – Bass and Vocals
This is not a Black Metal outfit for fuck’s sake, so they need to get a little more visible. Playing the Invisible Man on Hard Rock Radio just ain’t gonna earn you a ton of brownie points, my dear friends from Sweden.
In conclusion, Bear Bone Company professed to play and I quote: “A highly modern stew of sweaty rock’n’roll on the old-fashioned, heavy guitar-dominated highway.” And did they succeed? Yes, definitely. This is fresh, crunchy, and indeed old-fashioned Hard and Heavy Rock. This is the kind of music these guys should play in the US, somewhere in between California and Louisiana. They got the sound that you want to hear on that crowded, hot beach when the toads are croaking out in the bayou somewhere in yonder darkness.
But for their next offering, they need to inject some innovation into their tune or their swagger will wear people out. More of the same will not do. And should you buy the record? Yes, definitely go for it – if you love crunchy Hard Rock with a metallic taste. Heavy Rock at its best, if you will. I am already looking forward to their next record.
Ed’s note: And congrats, this record made it onto the Intermittent Digest – Tome III.