Brooklyn post-punk rockers, Bear Hands. Photo by Nina Vestervelt
By WES THOMAS
Brooklyn based post-punk rockers, Bear Hands, made their first visit, and hopefully not their last, to the Hollow Bar and Kitchen on June 4. The band is currently touring in support of its latest record “You’ll Pay for This.”
Bear Hands opened the night the same way the new record opens, with its electro-pop flavored “I Won’t Pay.” By the time the crowd zeros in on the electronic cloud of sound and airy vocals, it gets served a big dose of power chords that reminds us that they have come to rock! This was all the perfect setup for “Bone Digger,” the groove-based track that had the crowd dancing.
As Bear Hand moved though its set, it served up a lackluster rendition of “Marathon Man” from the new album. I don’t think I was the only one who was disappointed since it was followed with a half-hearted round of applause. Apparently this was just a hiccup because the band certainly seemed to rebound with “Like Me Like That,” “Winners Circle” and “What a Drag” which was its first single from 2010’s “Burning Bush Supper Club.”
Nothing during the 14 song set got quite the response that its hit “Giants” did. “Giants,” from the “Distraction” record, made it all the way to number eight on the Billboard Alternative Chart, and it was easy to see how with the audience singing every word.
Bear Hands has a knack for writing some pretty dark lyrics for pop songs and “Agora,” the first single from the “Distraction,” is a great example. A great Indie Pop song about agoraphobia… and the crowd went crazy for it. The final song of the night was “2AM,” the current single in radio rotation that laments how the band’s members are getting older. The band delivered a great version of a great song to end a great night. (And apparently 30 is old.)
Local chillwave duo Titanics opened the show. It’s easy to see why Titanics so frequently get the nod to open for so many great national acts. Its solid, seven song set contained at least four “A” Sides that would be comfortable on any Alt radio playlist. On this night the guitar sound enveloped the entire room creating a tunnel for the rest of the song to drive right through! Props to The Hollow’s house engineer for a great mix. Headliners Bear Hands gave a great shout out saying that Titanics were the best opening band they’ve seen lately, and for Albany to have pride in the local music scene. You can catch Titanics at Alive at Five on July 21 opening when it opens for Bloc Party!