Review by: Gimpleg

Wicked Bears wit and tongue in cheek humor is on full display in this incredibly catchy sophomore release.

Seriously, I think they may have hired a hypnotist when they wrote this album, because their gang vocals and pop punk riffs make me want to sing along with every song, even the first time I hear it. I am drawn in with every song.

The album starts with a self titled track that literally introduces you to the album, clocking in just under a minute, the song welcomes Salt Lake City to a live performance from “Underwater” after a word from the sponsors- and then immediately rolls into the first single from the album- “The Darkness”.

“The Darkness” was the obvious choice for the first single. When people hear it on my playlist they constantly ask who the band is. It gets your attention with catchy pop punk rhythms and powerful vocals with amazing gang vocals. Seriously, this song defines Wicked Bears as a band, as a showcase of everything they do well. The lyrics of “without further ado I present to you a cool part of this song where we insert a catchy phrase to dispel the darkness” doesn’t sound like they are going to be catchy, and sound pretty tongue in cheek as they tell you exactly what they are doing with the song, but I’ll be damned if I’m not singing along and you will be too.

“Terms and Conditions” is a great track to follow “The Darkness” because it starts off much more pop influenced and less punk and the gang vocals are completely different from the previous track to show you that this album isn’t going to all bleed into one homogeneous sound like many pop punk bands. While the last half of the song is largely filled with the repeated background vocals of “let’s remember to read the Ts and Cs”, changes in rhythm, and the vocals of the verse over top prevent it from feeling too redundant and instead gives it a harmony you want to hum along to.

“Another Winter” leads with the drums for the first time in the album that really makes the song stand out as unique, and before long you start singing along with “put me down Danny Elfman” and you are wondering how you got here. 

I swore I wasn’t going to just write about every song on the album, but that’s what this music makes me do. I’m on a journey and every song is worthy of writing about. They are catchy and fun and unique, and I can’t stop listening, and now I am onto the 5th song of the album, and it’s the second single from the album and probably my favorite track. An incredibly danceable track that begins 

‘Why do ya party- cause I like to dance

When do ya party- when I get the chance’… 

Then the verse kicks in and the guitar starts hitting the upstrokes and suddenly I’m skanking on a pop punk album. 

OK, this is the last song I’m going to discuss individually, but I can’t help myself,I just want to discuss every song- they are all great. Lies is the 6th song and the 6th song worth discussing. This is a They Might Be Giants song that They Might Be Giants forgot to write. Perhaps the Wicked Bears kidnapped TMBG and forced them to write a song and give them the rights. I don’t know, but the lyrics in this song could not be explained without taking They Might Be Giants into consideration, unless I’m lying, but everything I’ve said is true, because I would never lie to you, unless I’ve lied, but if I do, I guess that’s what I always do, or what I sometimes do, or almost never do. But everything I’ve said is true- or something like that.

I could go on and on and on with this album, but I guess you should probably just go listen to it. Let me just be clear, the second half of this album is just as good as the first half, but I don’t want to do 11 song breakdowns. I will however talk about the last song. “Still Underwater” is a clever album closer with an obvious callback to the album title and the first song on the album. This song consists almost entirely of quotes from the rest of the album, another celebration of the wit and humor that make the album what it is.


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