Single Review: Hunter & The Bear – Paper Heart

Listing members spanning the UK, Hunter & The Bear are gaining plaudits from across the Classic Rock scene, and it’s not just for the amount of hair that they’re wielding.

Having been hailed ‘the heroes British rock needs right now’ by the Huffington Post, the band are gathering the attention of fawning classic rock publications. Citing hard hitting icons like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd as influences, it’s easy to understand why.

The band have set their sights high on latest single, ‘Paper Heart’. It thunders along with purpose, driven by its anthemic rhythm, while vocal and guitar licks intertwine in a way that’s unashamedly emotive.

It’s a shame then that the early purpose seems to fade as soon as it arrives. It doesn’t take long until we enter into the often travelled trap of chorus-verse-chorus with little adventure to be seen. Don’t get me wrong, the choruses are huge, and don’t be surprised to see this band filling increasingly bigger venues in the near future. But, and it is a big but, it seems the producers have had their way with a band just starting out {their debut’s not out until early May).

Production has its place, of course. But it’s debatable whether that place is removing the punch from the guitars of a band aiming for an audience reared on classic rock. In the neverending quest for radio appeal, you’re left with a melodramatic soft-rock ballad that would end up with you finishing in fourth place on an ITV talent show.

In a time where it’s not uncommon to see boybands brandishing guitars that they’ve never played, rock bands have to be careful not to fall into the quagmire. Perhaps it’s different live, but on record, ‘Paper Hearts’ demonstrates about as much excitement for a rock fan as watching Justin Bieber try to name his favourite Nirvana tracks without the help of Google.

Catch the band in Brighton @ Patterns on June 15th – tickets

The Verse Staff

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