Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bear Vs. Shark - Terrorhawk

Equal Vision
Buy (


Catamaran starts the disc out strong, 5, 6 Kids provides some excitement, and it's pretty much all downhill from there. Sure, there is the occasional song that grabs you, and the whole thing is a hell of a lot better than pretty much anything else coming out of the contemporary post-hardcore scene. But when weighed against its predecessor Right Now You're In Best Of Hands..., Bear Vs. Shark's sophomore effort pales.

On paper, this album is perfect: sensible post-hardcore jams, played with competent guitar chops, a tight rhythm section, and Marc Paffi's distinctive yelp. In execution, however, something is lacking. The record loses momentum around the middle section, and songs like Baraga Embankment and Entrance of the Elected just sort of blend together. The two filler tracks, India Foot and Six Bar Phrase Hey Hey, are both under 30 seconds in length, and if their inclusion is indeed justified, Bear Vs. Shark don't make a very good case for it. Although Terrorhawk's running time is only four minutes longer than Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands..., the difference can at times feel like four hours - to listen to the former without the music slipping into the background is no mean feat; the latter captivates, 40 minutes seeming to fly by as quickly as India Foot.

Perhaps it is unfair to continually hold Terrorhawk to Right Now...'s standards. Bear Vs. Shark's first album was such a monumental achievement that any subsequent release was bound to disappoint a lot of people; to be Terrorhawk is akin to being Christ's younger brother. But one cannot judge art in a vacuum - without a frame of reference, without anything to compare the art to, there is no context, and therefore there is generally not much ground for the critic upon which to stand.

Would Terrorhawk be a "better" album had it been released before Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands...? Instead of being a sophomore slump, would it suddenly become a "promising start"? Probably.

"Terrorhawk, why can't you be more like your brother, Jesus? He was such a nice boy, and handsome too! He died for mankind's sins - what have you done for me lately?" - Mary

Key Tracks:
(Click to download)

No comments:

Post a Comment