Words by Charlie Culverhouse
Fighting Our Corner is the latest EP alt-rock unit Black Bear Kiss, and features 5 new riff-heavy rock songs: ‘Cutting Corners’, ‘Hooks’, ‘Follow Me’, ‘Fighting Our Corner’ and ‘Secret Side’. Throughout the EP it’s as clear as day that the vocalist, Chris Leech, takes hefty inspiration from the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Kasabian – mixing pronunciations similar to those of Anthony Kiedis with the nasal tone of Tom Meighan to create an interesting and easily recognisable sound.
The third song on the EP, ‘Follow Me’, features rapper Leo Golden Child, but I can’t help and feel he’s misplaced in the song. The collaboration comes across as notably forced, at times almost as if they’ve thrown in a rapper just for the sake of it rather than to add any musical value. Listening to this track makes me cringe; a lot like when Maroon 5 collaborated with Cardi B and created ‘Girls Like You’, this song haunts me.
I listened to Fighting Our Corner for three days straight and I still could not tell you a single lyric that has stuck with me. There is no passion behind the words Leech sings, it doesn’t leave me feeling any kind of emotion and it certainly doesn’t make me think deeply about what he’s saying.
And at the end of the day, isn’t that supposed to be the whole point of music in the first place?
There doesn’t seem to be any kind of sentiment at all, everything sounding ice cold. When I listen to music, I want to hear passion behind every part of the song – what’s the point of playing music if it seems like even you, the musicians, don’t enjoy it?
The stand-out song of the EP is ‘Hooks’, which also happens to be the first single they released as a band. The song teases a more powerful vocal and shows off their writing capabilities. The most fleshed out song on this EP, ‘Hooks’ gives you the sense that this is the song that the band spent the most time perfecting (even though the track is still compiled of relatively simple patterns). Yet it pains me to say that delving deeper into the musical components of ‘Hooks’ just led me to dead ends where I find nothing in particular to comment on; it’s easy to listen to and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not what I’m into.
What the band describes as ‘catchy riffs’ do sometimes come off as a little too repetitive, especially in EP opener ‘Cutting Corners’. But you can tell that all the members of Black Bear Kiss are talented; that’s why I want to hear something more from them. I want to see more imagination in their music and hear them challenge themselves musically, using more intricate and powerful sounds rather than the simple chord patterns that dominate their songs.
‘Hooks’ – Black Bear Kiss
Black Bear Kiss released their Fighting Out Corner EP on 1st March 2019, available online via the usual outlets. For more on Black Bear Kiss, visit www.facebook.com/blackbearkissband
Black Bear Kiss will also be performing on the Fox Stage at Gigfest in Oswestry on Saturday 6th July – for more on Gigfest, including the full festival line up and links to online ticket sales, visit https://www.facebook.com/gigfestmusicfestival/
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