Review by Dom Vigil
Bear Hands’ new album You’ll Pay For This is groovy and poppy, catchy as hell but still aggressive at times, and on top of it all, very fresh. The opening track, “I Won’t Pay” is the perfect glimpse into You’ll Pay For This, as everything is not what it seems. While soft, dreamy vocals and catchy instrumentals carry the album forward, it is big, diverse and game-changing. “I Won’t Pay” is a great example of this, as the song starts out quietly, but quickly grows into this big, explosive opening track.
As “I Won’t Pay” moves forward into the first single from You’ll Pay For This, you’ll be bobbing your head along in no time. “2 AM” is infectious - it and You’ll Pay For This as a whole is incredibly catchy and poppy, but not sugar coated by any means, still hosting some distorted guitars and sometimes dark, grungy sounds, which can be found on this memorable track. Following the synth-heavy “2 AM” is “Boss,” which kicks off with soft vocals and acoustic guitar before exploding. The wild guitar driven third track will leave you baffled, hitting repeat by the time it comes to an end.
“Déjà Vu” is the perfect example of the wide array of sounds and moods on You’ll Pay For This. Lyrically and vocally, this song is fun and smart, with catchy nearly-rapped lines such as, “New lyric but same tune/It’s like déjà vu,” that go perfectly alongside the video game sounding instrumentals. The best part is that “Déjà Vu” doesn’t sound out of place next to “Boss” or the following track, “Too Young.” Then comes “The Shallows,” a nice change of pace with acoustic guitars and soft vocals. But even the simplistic “The Shallows” still has that same dreamy quality as “Déjà Vu,” making You’ll Pay For This flow effortlessly.
Picking up the pace is the fun-loving, “Like Me Like That,” which is the perfect summer anthem. The lyrics may be simplistic and a bit childish - “I think you like me like that” - but are absolutely relatable for anyone who ever had a childhood crush or a summer fling. “Like Me Like That” is just more proof that Bear Hands don’t take themselves too seriously, which is just the reminder that listeners will need before the end of the album.
Following “Like Me Like That” is the wild “Chin Ups,” and “Winner’s Circle,” which is carried by smart, fast paced lyrics. Taking a step away from the laid back and dreamy vibe of the rest of the album, “Winner’s Circle” and the following song, “I See You” feel a bit more passionate and even a little aggressive. “I See You” feels like a callout, with standout lines like, “Hold on to what you know/Cause you know you can’t hide from me/I see you.” Then “Purpose Filled Life” brings things back down with a softer, more serious tone, leaving you hanging on a high, hopeful note.
Not only does You’ll Pay For This flow so well that it’s sadly over before you know it, but the placement of each track is flawless. The album becomes big and wild in the middle before winding down in the end, taking you on a fun, catchy musical journey. Lyrically, the album is smart as well, and combined, it’s impossible to ignore You’ll Pay For This.
Listen to "Déjà Vu" or "2 AM"
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