Song: “Sight” Band:Wolf & Bear Location: Modesto, California, United States Date of Release: 08/09/2015 Genre: Post hardcore Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: Dance Gavin Dance, Hail The Sun Why They Aren’t Famous: They should be, here’s hoping they get their name out there as much as possible and create every opportunity available.
It’s an exciting time in the office (read: Facebook group) when we get a truly magnificent song submitted to us. There’s usually some arguments over who’s going to claim the right to review it, usually resulting in several of our writers being fired for disobeying orders, or getting too ‘lippy’, but that’s just the way it is. The world of moderately successful music blogging is a cutthroat industry, and from time to time you get #rekt.
Wolf & Bear from California have graced us with this honour – their song Sight is a testament to why we devote our time to this exact endeavour; to discover incredible music from emerging bands and artists at the top of their game from around the world.
As soon as the song opens you’re immediately shown the technical prowess of guitarists Cameron Nunez and Louie Baltazar, with overlapping lead on the punchy rhythm section played flawlessly by bassist Nathaniel Duarte and drummer Jacob Koval. A tight and original rhythm section is a rarity in today’s sloppy-bassist world, but Duarte is a player that obviously takes his craft seriously, with overlapping techniques, drawing influence from jazz and pop styles by applying varying slap and thumb picking techniques throughout the song. The rolls and fill patterns from Koval pepper the mix to add his unique touch to the drum lines, and gives the song everything it deserves and adding the flair to the galloping mix.
The vocals in this song are also a standout – namely in the dual-vocal techniques of Marcus Cisneros and Tyler Watt. The two-vocalists thing is a tough one to pull off — but when it works, it works. Wolf & Bear nail it beautifully by allowing the polarising vocals to work together, complementing the lines instead and melding together as opposed to creating a ‘fight to the death’ vibe, which is all too easy when you have two frontmen. The soaring chorus and carefully constructed verses and which progress into even more powerful bridge sections are really impressive — it’s clear that the band, as a whole, are in tune with each other’s songwriting strengths, working together to make sure it levels out to a finished product that’s unbound in creativity, yet extremely enjoyable and accessible for the listener.
Wolf & Bear have crafted a beautiful song which is at the top of the spectrum of creative ingenuity and songwriting. Drawing influences from the finest of the modern post hardcore pioneers, overall they’re crafting highly original material in a time where post hardcore is becoming slightly old and tired. It’s bands like these fine fellows which show promise for the genre, and they should be breaking out into the relative mainstream sometime soon.