Side projects are a dubious business; many are dangerously overshadowed by the career of their better known members, such a danger is unlikely to touch Hot Chip front man Joe Goddard and one time Greco-Roman Records colleague Raf Rundell, who formed The 2 Bears in 2009. Their debut album Be Strong is released on January 29th, much to the anticipation of anyone who has ever attempted to recreate the dance to 'Bear Hug' in the wee hours of a dingy basement.

Grandiose single 'Bear Hug' has been given a slap of album production polish. Reducing the depth of some of the bass seems to have somewhat detracted from the original charm that drew so many people to the track in the first place. Still, it remains the albums most danceable and memorable track and you can be sure that many a person will no doubt be Bear Hugging for years to come.

Previously unheard tracks 'Take A Look Around' slot in perfectly with the care-free and dance hard ethos of the record, delivering a relentlessly pounding drumbeat backed up by Rundell’s signature vocal style. 'Time In Mind' wins the ‘Should Have Sound-Tracked The Jungle Book’ award for this record; and that is by no means a bad thing as it perfectly showcases Goddard and Rundell’s Midas touch-like ability for dance music. It provides a nicely yet unconsciously placed rest from the pounding drums that drive much of the tracks on the album.

Despite having played 'Church' about thousand and one times since its release as a single, I have yet to find a time when I haven’t enjoyed hearing it. Here Rundell is filled with honest optimism and child like abandon that you might not have thought could exist where lyrics like ‘the unity of nature and the vitality of love’ are delivered in an over-exaggerated reggae tinged fashion.

Be Strong had the potential to crash and burn in spectacular fashion as many dance records do, because people are hungry solely for singles and nothing else. The 2 Bears have managed to avoid the curse of the dance album, instead creating a record that is stacked to the top with potential hits that don’t falter or crumble as individuals or as a collective. These boys have definitely put the Work in...I’ll stop with the 2 Bears related puns now.