Bear Driver - Paws and Claws

Owain Paciuszko 06/04/2009

Rating: 4/5

Multi-coloured artwork and two sweets accompanying the press pack in the post, there's definitely something sugary and liable to induce hyperactivity about Bear Driver and as the twinkling glockenspiel strikes up on A Thousand Samurais everything seems to be a perfect fit.

Dreamily sung boy/girl vocals coo over a laidback drumbeat, ukelele and the aforementioned glockenspiel. It's a bright, hazy summery tune that brings to mind The Boy Least Likely To and The New Tea Party, but there's a melancholy that stops this from becoming painfully twee or teeth rottingly sugary. Bear Driver are kind of like children's party entertainment by Arcade Fire and this kind of big v. small mix is showcased brilliantly by No Time To Speak which has all the spine-tingling stomp of Arcade Fire's Black Mirror but here adorned with glittering atmospherics and organ.

Final track Ada Rose begins sleepily before leaping into an upbeat sing-a-long a la Little My and finally lulling itself back to a woozy chant of over-lapping voices. It's a suitably daydreamy ending to this charming little EP.