Giant Bear just released there self-titled album on August 14th and it will rank up there with Elliot Randall as one my surprise favorites of the year. They are an Americana outfit with Indie Rock sensibilities. Based in Memphis the Commercial Appeal says they are "somewhere between cowboy noir and the best band to ever play on a front porch." The Source Weekly in Eugene, OR calls it "Orchestral Funk-a-Billy." I call it awesome. These guys could follow Lucero's rise from Memphis to the Alt.Country circuit.
The album starts out with the line "There are no honky tonks left in Nashville" musing about the current state of Music City from the perspective of a guy who "Wants to drink the old time way." The album also has the coolest cover since The Gourds did "Gin 'n Juice." They do a quirky Americana version of "Head Like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails. Some of the songs are dark like "Devil in the Wall" - "There was blood on your wrist and a Bible on your reading list. I tried to fix you with my towel. You clenched your fist and woke me with a growl." Mostly though, the album is an upbeat good time. Also, Luther Dickinson from North Mississippi All-Stars contributes slide guitar on the album to give it the local Memphis "Street Cred."
The album is streaming for free on: http://redwaxmusic.net/ check it out for sure!
This review also appears on: http://twangville.com