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The Island of Misfit Toys

Bear Hair

(Tandem; US: 28 Jun 2011; UK: Import)

Spare Parts

Pick a direction. Any direction. No, really.


If there’s one thing that seems to derail the Chi-town collective, Bear Hair, faster than drunken Uncle Ed showing up at your daughter’s first communion party, it’s the apparent inability to decide what kind of band it wants to be. Does it want to include elements of down-and-dirty heavy rock? Twee, college rock? Multi-vocal layers or Band-ish grooves? A chorus of crickets? None of the eight members here seem to know for sure, and that’s too bad, because the raw talent is obvious in the attempts to mix and match all those disparate elements on The Island of Misfit Toys. However,  the results are a decided mess than can’t be cleaned up no matter how many times one tries to listen, tries to find something, anything, that might redeem this collection. Never was an album title more accurate or more tragic.

Rating:

Jedd Beaudoin is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He holds an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Wichita State University and hosts Strange Currency six nights week for Wichita Public Radio. His writing has appeared in No Depression and The Crab Orchard Review as well as at websites such as Ytsejam.com and Amazon.com.


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