Polar Bear: Peepers

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Polar Bear
LABELS: Leaf Bay
WORKS: Peepers
PERFORMER: Pete Wareham, Mark Lockheart (sax), Leafcutter John (guitar), Tom Herbert (bass), Sebastian Rochford (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 74CDP

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I’ve always enjoyed Polar Bear’s music, but there have been times when I couldn’t shake off the suspicion that they were being clever for the sake of it – that’s an excusable foible, I guess, when you play with such incisive, exuberant panache founded on considerable technical ability – but this album carried me with it all the way.

I doubt it will convert anyone not already sympathetically inclined towards what the band has done hitherto,  but I enjoyed every minute of it.

‘The love didn’t go anywhere’, ‘Finding our feet’ and ‘All here’ are beautiful ballad-like pieces, but mostly this session is punky and/or funky and likely to keep you on the edge of your seat if you’re not already on your feet.

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Wareham and Lockheart, severally and together, produce stunning sounds, Herbert and Rochford provide solid yet flexible and imaginative underpinnings, and Leafcutter John stitches in many striking and intriguing textures. Barry Witherden