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Album Review: Silent Unspeakable by Bear Trade

North East punks Bear Trade release their second album, Silent Unspeakable, on 21st April via Everything Sucks Music (UK) and Dead Broke Rekerds (US). It’s is personal affair (following on from the band’s debut Blood & Sand) comprising songs written from the heart and from Greg Robson’s (guitars/vocals) personal experiences, a commentary on life. The album was recorded at Suburban Home Studios in Leeds, with Matt Johnson from Hookworms. It was recorded over two weekends in Autumn 2016. Some of the songs were written three years ago and some we finished while we were recording them.

A personal and relatable 35-minutes of riotous punk rock that’s instantaneous and begs for repeat listens. Silent Unspeakable is an album that will put Bear Trade firmly at the top of the UK punk rock scene. While their contemporaries go down the indie punk, pop punk or emo punk routes, Bear Trade take a more traditional and endearing take on punk. Good, honest punk is the order of the day and quite frankly it’s wonderful.

While there’s a distinctive English tone to Bear Trade – be it in vocals and lyrical content – you’ll notice a nod to modern American punk and as such this is closer in sound to The Menzingers than anything currently coming out of the UK. It’s something different while also being familiar and immediate.

Out of the 12 tracks they’re all bangers, there’s the exceptional in ‘Sea Legs’, ‘Family Planning’, ‘Good But Best’ and ‘Bibojibs’. Whether it be the churning and latent aggression of the latter two or the instantaneous punk of the first two there’s something to Bear Trade that make them such a compelling listen. Special praise must be singled out for ‘Sea Legs’. For the new comer to Bear Trade it’s a formidable statement of intent – never did you release how infectious an ‘ooff’ could be.

While there’s those exceptional tracks there’s the moments that Bear Trade deliver up near punk perfection. It’s at these moments that you release that this is something special and Bear Trade may just have made the album of their lives. ‘Sexy Beast’ takes riotous, fun punk to another level – the guitars are glorious and it’ll have you grinning from ear to ear; ‘As Long As We Have Tea’ is quintessentially English in its title and an infectious listen with special praise for the excellent percussion. Album closer ‘Transgression In The Toy Shop’ is something truly special, musically quieter than the preceding 11 tracks which only goes to complement the serious reflection on Brexit.

Silent Unspeakable is an essential listen and undoubtedly a masterstroke from Bear Trade. Within one listen you’ll be hooked and Bear Trade will become one of your favourite bands.

AD Rating 9/10

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Bear Trade 'Silent Unspeakable' - GIGsoup
  2. Playlist: Bear Trade – Lloyd Chambers’ favourite tracks – Alt Dialogue
  3. Alt Dialogue’s Top 100 Albums of 2017 Part 2: 50 – 1 – Alt Dialogue

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