Bearsuit - Foxy Boxer

Adam Carroll-Smith 28/11/2007

Rating: 4.5/5

Bearsuit used to sum up everything I loved about independent music; the intentionally rough-edged production, the slightly out-of-time handclaps, and the sheer fun of it all seemed a million miles away from the stifling seriousness of the Embraces and Ocean Colour Scenes of the world, If I was listening to Bearsuit, then those two twin evils would forever be bumping their heads against the little bubble of rather more lovely and exciting music that I was intent on living within. They managed to distance themselves even more from the afore-mentioned bastions of generic 'indie' by always seeming like one of those bands that would never really make it - they probably didn't even want to. Bearsuit were the sort of band you'd forever be seeing in the Pig and Whistle, simply because that was the environment the songs were written for. As my tastes changed, Bearsuit drifted away from my favour somewhat, and I assumed they would be a thing of the past by now, never to top the magic of early singles like Drink Ink. I was wrong.

Foxy Boxer pulsates and shimmies drunkenly into your head, guard down and swinging wildly as ever, but with a new sense of purpose and a degree more order to the chaos. Whilst it retains the charmingly ramshackle production values, everything just seems BIGGER. It is the sound of a band kicking against the image of being perennial under-achievers, and embracing ambition - I appreciate that some might question how a throwaway little pop nugget like this can be as ambitious as I'm trying to suggest it is, but ambition does not have to equate to more instruments and more drama. Ambition for Bearsuit is casting off the comfy confines of twee sort of-stardom and having a pop at some of independent music's current biggerweights. On the evidence of this single they might still not quite reach the top, but if they keep landing knockout blows like this one, they will certainly leave their mark; and as far as I'm concerned they still sound like the vital difference between music that is independent in name only, and that which is independent in spirit.