Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear... Ursine of the times

Singles: Grizzly Bear, Noel G, Offspring, Antlers, Drake, Wiley, Calvin Harris and several others!

Published on August 1st, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

It would appear to be a week’s worth of singles, rounded up and reviewed in a neat little package. Not too sure though…let’s go in for a closer look…

A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”

There’s something alluring about the slurry, baritone drawl of the chap at the beginning, something rather less so about the fact that he chooses to rhyme ‘lock jaw’ with ‘lock jaw’. As for A$AP…well, he boasts and brags his way into Rocksucker’s bad books. He’s rather well remunerated, you see, and he’s rather fond of reminding us of this every five seconds. A$AP Cocky, more like, and not very good with it. With any luck he’ll return from whence he came ASAP.

Who the heck is this guy, anyway? We thought his name seemed familiar but that’s probably because we were thinking of Aesop Rock. All this talk of rocks is making us wonder which one in particular this flash numpty crawled out from underneath.

Rocksucker says: One and a Half Quails out of Five!

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The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

This lead track from the critical darlings’ Undersea EP is sufficiently lovely and floaty for Rocksucker to consider that we may have been a trifle harsh when we panned their Hospice LP on another site a few years ago. Does indeed sound like a gentle submergence in a calm blue ocean, all lulling trumpet, Hawaiian guitar and hypnotically staggering drum beat. Fair’s fair, eh?

 Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Big Black Delta – “IFUCKINGLOVEYOU”

What a whacking great shock of noise! A right old sonic assault an’ no mistake, guv. It’s also thrilling, full and multi-textured of palette, malevolent operatic vocals fired up through the mix like flame-throwers. YOU’LLFUCKINGLOVEIT!

Click here to read our interview with Big Black Delta.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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 Clock Opera – “Belongings”

Beardy man feels reflective with beguilingly twinkly results, a synaesthetic quality instilled by these chaps’ apparent predilection for ‘found sounds’. Sadly this is marred somewhat by the obligatory “oh oh oh!” refrain attendant in the eventual build-up – call it a bugbear, there’s just so many of them about – but it’s sufficiently disorientingly rendered as to reward repeat listens. Ooh, nice video too, at least when we’re not face-to-face with beard.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Drake (feat. The Weeknd) – “Crew Love”

This is crying out for a Half Man Half Biscuit spoof entitled “Crewe Love”. As for the song? It lost us the moment someone started warbling “ooohhh woooaaahhh, eeeehhhh heeeeeeyyy”. It’s hard to recover from something like that. On the plus side, it actually tries to say something worthwhile in its lyrics, and those sporadic interjections of pounding drum and hi-hat are pleasingly unusual.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five! 

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Far East Movement (feat. Cover Drive) – “Turn Up the Love”

Turn down the music.

Rocksucker says: One Quail out of Five! (and that’s just for turning up and spelling their name correctly)

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Mark Gardener and Robin Guthrie – “The Places We Go”

Unfortunately we can’t lay on an embed for this one, but this gorgeous collaboration between Ride legend Gardener and Cocteau Twins legend Guthrie is now available here on iTunes and here on Amazon. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t”declares Gardener in the assured, blissed-out tone he perfected on his wonderful 2005 album with Goldrush These Beautiful Ghosts, and with Guthrie’s reverb-drenched sonics casting beautiful ghosts of their own around him…well, this time we all win.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

The first taster of their forthcoming Shields LP, which is pencilled in for a 17th September release on Warp Records. Shuffling along on a typically magical air of mystery and a delightfully light croon, “Yet Again” proceeds to do its record label justice by taking on a shuddering psychedelic sound collage over the top of its canny melodic shifts. Will Shields be a worthy successor to Veckatimest? Early signs are highly encouraging.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Gym Class Heroes (feat. Ryan Tedder) – “The Fighter”

At least footballers should find this motivational. As for the chorus lyric of “give me scars, give me pain” – come on, that’s just too easy. If you like men who sing like Christina Aguilera, chances are you’ll love this. The rap fares a little better, to be fair, but not by all that much. “Half the population’s waiting to see me fail” – are they? I really couldn’t care less.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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Calvin Harris (feat. Example) – “We’ll Be Coming Back”

What’s with all the feat.s this week? Anyway this isn’t too bad, all things considered. The verse has a fairly nice melodic twist and the auto tune on Example’s voice is barely noticeable, save for the fact that he occasionally sounds a bit like a robot. Calvin Harris does what he does – that is, pounding, luminous, clubby electro – and there’s undoubtedly a place for it. That’s about it though.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Tom Jones – “Tower of Song”

Leonard Cohen cover. Not bad. Face…so…orange. “I was born like this / I had no choice” – now that’s not strictly true, is it Tom?

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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M83 – “OK Pal”

Is he singing “somewhere” or “footwear”? You’d think it’d be the former, but it does sound like the latter. It matters little, for this gulping, ’80s-framed, electro-pop lucid dream is utterly splendid. Très bien, Monsieur Gonzalez!

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Everybody’s on the Run”

Have you heard a Noel Gallagher song before? If so, you should have a decent idea of what to expect. There’s even a lyrical reference to walking in his shoes. Well I’ll be sheee-yiiiiined. Big, filmic production gives it a welcome extra dimension, though.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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The Offspring – “Days Go By”

Not bad enough to declare the title an unwitting summation of what it feels like to listen to this song, not quite strong enough to hold our hands up and say we were wrong to approach it with cynicism. It’s okay, we guess: the sound of exuberant youth gone grizzled and faintly AOR. In other words, pretty spry for some old guys. Amusing also to think that “why don’t you get a job?” could conceivably be what they’re now saying to their teenage, er, offspring.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Two Wounded Birds – “To Be Young”

This latest single to be taken from the Margate four-piece’s eponymous debut LP is a driving, swoonsome slice of classic pop songwriting that’s refreshingly void of affectation and commendably in thrall of good old-fashioned melody. Innovative it most certainly is not, but there’s always a place for this kind of warm, twangy loveliness.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Wiley (feat. Ms D) – “Heatwave”

Hopefully accurate prediction. GREAT VIDEO. Irritating “put yo hands upon my body” vocal sample. Good flow. Educational insomuch as Rocksucker now knows what ‘gyaldem’ means. Brownie points for mentioning Slush Puppies, but all in all this feels like a case of misused talent.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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And finally…

Scissor Sisters – “Let’s Have a Kiki (The 2 Bears Remix)”

As delightfully funky-bonkers as you might imagine, we simply had to include this: it growls, honks, clunks, glitches and generally makes a gleeful nuisance of itself. Excellent stuff.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.