Polar Bear – Peepers

I can’t really reconcile anything Leafcutter John does as alt-jazz

http://www.polarbearmusic.com http://www.theleaflabel.com http://www.konkurrent.nl

Apparently this release is “alt-jazz”: well you could have fooled me. I can’t really reconcile anything Leafcutter John does as alt-jazz, but maybe that’s just me being pedantic. Sometimes sounding like a car crash, at other times coming over as thee most sublime accompaniment to an afternoon’s lounging (All Here is a bona fide slacker classic in this regard), Peepers takes risks with its listeners, at times almost daring them to turn the bloody thing off. Yes, enjoy listening to Finding Our Feet… I didn’t.  Drunken Pharaoh is also as loose a sonic jumble as you’re likely to hear, but it does have a wayward charm about it.

Still, highlights outweigh any lumpy gravy. Check out the jumpy opener Happy For You - which sounds like a bedroom punk take on Fanfare Ciocarlia’s muse - and the spindly, skank that informs Bap Bap Bap and the title track is lots of fun too. And let’s not forget sax-driven The Love Didn’t Go Anywhere, which is a beautiful, if dolorous lament that never outstays its welcome, despite its plodding nature.

Give this a listen, stay with it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.