Here’s another new Engineer Records release that recently arrived at our headquarters. These guys aren’t strangers to these pages. I had a chance to review and post news about a couple of their releases in the past. Bear Away started their activities right before the pandemic, and since then, they released several recordings, such as Parts And Labour, Never In The Same Place EP, Old Friends/East Coast, and a split release with Custody. They keep their activities as prolific as possible, and everything I heard so far sounded superb. They also posted a couple of singles like Wake Up And Smell The Floor and Unless That Rainbow Is Black And Filled With Knives, but I had no idea these were the teasers for their debut full-length. Therefore, I was surprised when this release popped up on our doorstep.
A Drastic Tale Of Western Living carries ten melodic punk rock compositions that will immediately catch your attention. This material collects everything they released since Never In The Same Place EP, so if you listened to Old Friends/East Coast or their split with Custody, you might find some of these tracks familiar. There are also seven new songs performed in the same manner, so the entire album resonates with brilliant ideas and exceptional musicianship. Those unfamiliar with the previous works by Bear Away may expect modern mid-tempo melodic punk rock. Still, listeners with experienced pairs of ears might notice some of the finest properties of emo, indie, or pop-punk. These guys know how to assemble proper bangers decorated with clever arrangements, themes, melodies, harmonies, and other sonic delicacies that define only the best punk rock albums.
Perhaps A Drastic Tale Of Western Living dominantly leans towards contemporary melodic punk rock sound, but some maneuvers resemble something many bands would record during the late 90s and early 00s. The vocal segments are one of Bear Away’s heaviest weapons in a sonic arsenal. You’ll unquestionably hear how all those anthemic singalongs and vocal harmonies enhance every song on an entirely new level. Another thing that blows my mind is how guitars articulate throughout the album. The guitars continuously duel for dominance, with the rhythm guitar bursting with powerful riffs on one and the lead guitar delivering melodies on other side. Of course, nothing would sound so powerful and dynamic without heavy, warm-sounding low-end tones and well-accentuated rhythmic acrobatics. There’s no doubt this release will become your go-to album every time you need melodic punk rock music. Head to Engineer Records and pre-order Drastic Tale Of Western Living on vinyl.