Swedish five-piece Abandoned By Bears have returned with their follow-up to 2016’s ‘The Years Ahead’, this time teaming up with Buster Odeholm from Impact Records to complete this record, making ‘Headstorm’ the band’s very first collaborative effort.
Even from opener ‘So Far Gone’, this band’s unique blend of pop-punk is through the ear catching vocal melodies and the production values, instrumentals, and feel associated with hardcore music. It acts as a perfect showcase for this distinctive blend, with the verses featuring rhythmically staccato, chugged guitar work which screams Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, whilst the melodies from duelling frontmen Fredric Andersson and Leon Ekelund could be closely compared to ROAM.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have ‘Greyscale’, the album’s closer which feels completely detached from the pop-punk elements embedded across a good chunk of the record. Andersson‘s screams take the forefront here and accompany the dropped, rhythmically frantic guitar riffs, giving a sound reminiscent of early We Came As Romans.
The middle section of ‘Headstorm’ does its best at showing a precise blending of what gives the band their easycore, definitive edge. ‘Blurry Vision’ in particular really highlights the attribute of using two vocalists in order to keep their sound fresh
Abandoned By Bears truly demonstrate a strong level of musicianship and talent across this record. Their ability to intertwine two genres that some may view as opposites is commendable, and, whilst it may leave some tracks to feel lacking in a clear identity, ‘Headstorm’ is bound to resonate with the easycore community.