Label: Hottwerk Records Release date: 16/08/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon There is not much to know about Bearcraft; however what we do know is that they are an act based in the heart of our country’s capital, London, have a debut album about to be released and like to produce what they call a “fantastical, mathematical combination of electro uppers and bewitching acoustic slow-burners, spinning folk yarns with an abundance of haunting melodies and the loveliest harmonies”. But when you first listen to their debut album ‘Yestreen, what you hear is a completely different kettle of fish. Forget what they say, Bearcraft are an all out electro pop act that blend more of the 80s gaming sensation with a mixture of Brit-pop like moments than their self-proclaimed folk electro. Yestreen is an album consisting of ten tracks full of twinkling, pulsating 80s like synths with vocals similar to My Life Story with an early lazy Brit-Pop production. Yestreen starts with the track ‘Hero Man Gets To The Castle’ which ultimately demands attention from the off, harnessing a synth line with so many hooks that you instantly stop everything you are doing and prepare for the onslaught of brilliant electro you expect to follow. The opening synth line draws you in and you half expect it to lead into the rock and roll bass lines of Alex James and Blur’s ‘Girls and Boys’. What you get on the other hand is a shot straight back to the 80s with a tangible edge of the more 90’s disco synth side of Brit-Pop. With the album kicking of at such a high tempo you think and feel that thinks can only get higher and better. This is not the case as from here on in things start to slide downhill. Track two ‘Out On A Limb’ kicks of exactly where the end of ‘Hero Man..’ finishes, with a hefty dose of synth keeping up that 80s electro feel, driving the tempo and the energy of the record onwards. It is when we reach ‘Coming Unstuck’ (track five) that Yestreen takes a fall for the worse. ‘Coming Unstuck’ is the ballad of the album, starting with just a vocal line being accompanied by a simple piano part. Although it is a well thought out idea it simply doesn’t reach the heights that the album kicked off at, losing the drive and determination you discover early on and for most of the song you are wishing for it to end and the next track ‘The Werewolf’ to start. ‘The Werewolf’ is the lead single of the album and sees Bearcraft get back to what they do best, creating infectious electro pop. The synth is back, the hooks and groove are back and you can imagine this track to be one of the soundtracks of the 80s electro era. What ‘The Werewolf’ does do better than any other track on the album, is to see everything - music and vocals - work in unison. In-total Bearcraft’s Yestreen has moments of pure brilliant electro uppers and would have achieved success galore in the 80s. What lets this record down is the lack of consistency and fluidity between songs, and if it weren’t for the music on the record it would have been a much harder listen. Bearcraft and the record show glimpses of what the band could offer given time and on a whole is a reasonable listen, the downside for Bearcraft is that they have arrived to this world 25 years too late. Bearcraft have the potential to succeed, but whether or not they will, well that is now up to them. Photobucket