A horrible hack

Bear Trade

Blood And Sand

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Dead Broke Rekerds - Everything Sucks Music
Reviewed by Andrew Revis on May 27, 2014
If the punk rock manual was an actual thing, Bear Trade would have covered most of its chapters in this, their debut full-length. Guitarists playing chugging powerchords, a bass player that just sings in the choruses, drums that come in after four bars of guitar riffage, plenty of Woooahs and Ooofs, lyrics such as "I dare you once to square up to me - strike first, you'll live longer"; frontman Greg Robson even plays a low-slung left-handed Gretsch like Tim Armstrong! It's punk rock by numbers, punk rock 101, and it's absolutely brilliant!

Blood And Sand is about as authentic, sincere and heartfelt as punk rock gets. The fact that it would have been as well received in the mid-1990s as it will surely be in the mid-2010s is of no consequence whatsoever. Seeing Bear Trade sharing a bill with Snuff or Leatherface would have been as normal as it would be seeing them alongside current Brit upstarts like Woahnows or Moose Blood right now.

The band hail from here oop north and sing their rowdy, drunken singalongs with a wonderful Geordie burr and vowels flatter than their caps. They even segue between tracks using clips from The Likely Lads. They could not fairly be called hardcore or pop-punk, and exist at one speed and one speed only. But what a wonderful speed it is - listen to Bleeding Heart Trouble, If Stoic Was Normal, Charge or Son Of The Manse for proof positive. The band themselves list their interests as "Playing loud, laughing, doing gigs and drinking some beers." That, in short, is what makes them so great.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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