A solid night of indie rock can cure a variety of ills, and that’s what was on the bill at Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery last night as Bear Hands headlined their last show of 2012.
Cantora labelmates Slam Donahue opened up the night. If I had it my way, everyone would be listening to them, but for now, they’re one of Brooklyn’s better-kept secrets. Placing relatable lyrics in rough-edged, weirdo pop frames, the Hemlock Tea EP was one of the most compelling introductions of the year. Onstage, the good-humored duo has the personality to back up the talent, and they’re still a reliable band to keep an eye out for.
Joywave hails from Rochester, which they reminded everyone is “real upstate, not like Westchester upstate.” The quintet’s more driving sound made for a natural segue into Bear Hands. Led by an engaging, mustachioed frontman, the band highlighted tracks from its album Koda Vista.
It’s been a couple of years since Bear Hands’ debut LP Burning Bush Supper Club came out, but the songs still ring true. Their taut, bass-heavy sound shows an attention to structure that should be seen more often, showcased on favorites like “Tablasaurus” and “What A Drag.” Bear Hands previewed a number of new songs for the hometown crowd, which appear to include titles such as “Monster” and “Vietnam.” The tracks were being test-driven for the band’s second album, anticipated for next year. With their tight performances, it sounds like the record is well on its way to finding its direction.