Sunbear- Bits: An Indiecater Release

October 20, 2009

Time again for another Indiecater release and this time its a doozy from the Dublin band Sunbear– which has been defunct since 1999 and a group I sadly missed the first time round!

Bits is a collection of their two eps ‘Bits And Pieces’ and ‘Dog’ along with a couple of unreleased tracks thanks to Mr. Indiecater getting in touch with the former drummer- sometimes Dublin is a great community when you simply ask!

Since they are new to my ears I have to say that some of the tunes do have a contemporary sound in relation to the Irish music scene- which is indeed a positive thing to say for Sunbear…but also a damning indication that some current Irish bands haven’t moved on.

There is unquestionably a 90’s shoegaze vibe for most of the tracks but some have quite a nice melodic flow and indeed for the The Bits (That Float Around When You Close Your Eyes) there is a bevy of instrumentation that you would find in todays new-folk outfits with (possibly) a dulcimer and a small selection of strings.

The collection of tunes is more or less in the same order as the original ep’s combined and the opening track Leadbelt kicks it off in fine fashion with some great beats to go along with the hazy guitars.  Seeing Stars has good driving beats to keep the vibe going and Each To Their Own has a great keyboard start but unfortunately it doesn’t go anywhere and it’s only with the beats and guitar jam in Halved that the vibe returns.

Going To The B has more of a melodic element and a good toe tapping pace which is continued on in Ran All The Way  but certainly with a more distorted sound.  The harmonies really come out for Somebody Change The Season which has an ear catching good vibe and muted guitars which come back in full-hazy-force in Pennies.  Dog is probably the quietest track on there with a sparse intro and subtle instrumentation for most of it and the following tune Clown Hands is unmistakably mid-90’s influenced with the vocals and arrangement.

Poke My Side and Send That Monkey To Mars are similar in function with a quiet start and about halfway through they pick up pace and bring in the shoegaze element with a nice flair.  Fond Memories of New York follows and it is a good toe tapping tune but it’s The Bits (That Float Around When You Close Your Eyes) that is that is really ear grabbing.  A great end to the mix and while it has an unusual and slightly undefined start, the addition of the strings and various instruments really makes this an outstanding tune.

Overall it’s a good collection of tunes and you can have a listen to Leadbelt below.  Head over to Indiecater where you can stream the whole collection and get the download for the miniscule amount of €4.00!

Sunbear – Leadbelt

Front Cover


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