'East coast punk can be generalized as weathered and nostalgic here in the States, full of barrierless camaraderie and heartfelt belters. Spin Bear Away’s new 7-inch, and you’ll think the same reigns true in the UK.
Straight from the eastern shores of North Yorkshire, Bear Away pollute the sea air of their hometown with the saltiness of sweat and stale booze rising from the damp basements where their sound lives. Much like Iron Chic, or even a sandpapered-down version of The Holy Mess, their songs are melodic and poppy, buried under a layer of smokey and grimy film. With a buddy-love singalong and an ode to their coastal digs, these two new tracks pick up the themes from where they left off with their debut EP, Never In The Same Place. (Check out “Never Complete” from that release for a killer pop-punk gem).
“Old Friends” winds up with crashing cymbals and soaring chords like an introduction meant for a full-length - kind of like how “Tellin’ Lies” opens The Menzingers’ After the Party - and cuts into pint-chugging melodies meant for making amends. The sticky hook, “Did we make it right / Or were we made of stone / Did the glass just break / Did we make it home” is the glue to the track that delves into repairing broken friendships through self-reflection and honesty.
Side B brings a heartland feel to an affectionate celebration of their seaside home of Scarborough with “East Coast.” Where some of us have the “leave and never come back” mentality about where we grew up, Bear Away passionately claim the opposite as they speak for their fellow Scarborians with this mid-tempoed glass-raiser. The song winds down with a towering outro that would be perfect to close out a full length.
It’s like “Old Friends” and “East Coast” are bookends for something bigger - a spark-plug opener and an emotional closer without the story in-between. Here’s to hoping that these tracks are the foundation of an upcoming LP where we’ll see Bear Away’s story actually make its way out of their hometown'.