Lost Bear – Shingolai

And there’s no holding it back, which is quite rare for Holland; Shingolai is totally at odds with the cool and measured vibe most Dutch pop bands deal in. It’s very catchy and sympathetic.

(Snowstar)

I do like Lost Bear, they are talented lads with distinct personalities and something to say. I once reviewed them saying that their Emo thing was a little too sugary for me. And it is, but somehow they’re growing into this preposterous, funny power pop act. Which I like a lot.

They’re also not afraid to throw anything and everything at their sound in the hope that something different may come out – something mutually instructive that may stick. The opener, Sohilait is a veritable glam racket boasting a great refrain and a tremendous tail out. The song is thumped out, soul revue style: there’s a tiny bit of a thrashy mod/ 70’s soul style about it. It’s a very British sound they have here, redolent of ESP, current Emo/Math rock bands like Our Lost Infantry and hoary old soul rockers like The Action in equal measure.

And there’s no holding it back, which is quite rare for Holland; Shingolai is totally at odds with the cool and measured vibe most Dutch pop bands deal in. It’s very catchy and sympathetic. There’s not much breathing space on this record, and it’s obvious that – even in the quieter moments such as Lonesome Drinker, we are dealing with a band interested in expressing a whole gamut of “impassioned” feelings. Hot under the collar it certainly is. Science and Peppermint Schnapps are two tracks that are bawled rather than sung; both have a huge sound and a melody line that is thrust at you: it’s true heart on sleeve stuff. And Lost Bear get all Small Faces with the end of Peppermint Schnapps, the refrain at the end of the song is possibly the best thing on this release. Another side to them is seen with Bomberman’s Friend and Lonesome Drinker, which both promote a more soulful and winsome sound; but regardless, they just can’t let go of that growling, fuzzed up guitar and parping brass section.

A sparky, soulful release. And worth a bit of your time.