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Apr 20, 2014







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Grizzly Bear, Shields
Warp Records, Sept. 18

By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



You’ll recall peer-pressure-blog Pitchfork pointing to Grizzly Bear’s 2009 album Veckatimest as the zenith of indie-rock awesomeness that year, an album comprising varying degrees of Clinic, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys, Radiohead and… um, Spandau Ballet if you want to be honest about it. Later, Jay-Z butted in to take a big gulp of the Kool-Aid, wishing aloud that hip-hop would follow Grizzly Bear’s lead into the valley of awesomeness, and at this point these four Brooklyn dweebs must have felt like a cross between God, Led Zeppelin and the band on that free credit-score commercial, hugely important but automatically self-negating. Certainly Veckatimest’s “Two Weeks” was an awesome song, its Beach Boys ideas spiraling upward to carpet-bomb the land with that massive hook, so who wouldn’t want to see them try that again? And they do, this time finding success without relying on as much Beach Boys — “Yet Again” is Belle & Sebastian on a mild steroid, “Sleeping Ute” and “Speak in Rounds” immerse you in woozy Radiohead-vs.-Frampton semi-rockouts. “Gun Shy” is the knuckleball, waiting-room dentist-rock that had me expecting the slide guitar from Gerry Rafferty’s ’70s song “Right Down The Line” to pop in at any second. I can’t picture any normal person rushing to the record store upon knowing all this, but there it is for you. A- —Eric W. Saeger






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