SRR 046 Bear Claw Slow Speed: Deep Owls CD
With roots deep in the rust-belt communities just south of Chicago, drummer/vocalist Scott Picco and bassist Rob Raspolich have been playing music together since their mid-teens. A few years later, they hooked up with Rich Fessler, first in a band called Hello Operator, before changing gears and re-emerging as Bear Claw, the two bass/drums tour de force we see today. Slow Speed: Deep Owls is their second record for Sick Room.
This sophomore effort definitely demonstrates a tremendous amount of growth for the band. “With [first record] Find the Sun , we were so excited with the tones and the concept of the two bass setup that we had an initial tendency to write heavy songs that were all fairly quick in tempo”, remarks Picco, “On this record, we thought a little bit more about how and why we're writing as opposed to simply reacting to one another.” Slow Speed: Deep Owls is more dynamic as a result, with more attention to mood changes and variety.
Rather than playing it so close to the bone regarding their influences, mostly 1990's post-punk (think Shellac, Unwound, Thumbnail), Bear Claw have used them as a foundation to develop their distinctive sound. Several years of playing live shows, not to mention a remarkable work ethic, has allowed their approach to become more balanced and intuitive.
Recorded and mixed by Steve Albini and Mastered by Bob Weston, Slow Speed: Deep Owls is a true record, in that it is a documentary effort to capture the band at a particular moment in time, against the backdrop of both the personal and political environment. It is an assembly of well defined and finely crafted songs that certainly flow together without seeming forced into place.
We can only hope that you will enjoy the music, and it will find a prominent spot in your own collection.