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In their short time together, Sydney’s Bearhug have managed to secure support slots for Broken Social Scene and locals Philadelphia Grand Jury. The latter comes as little surprise, as Bearhug play a rather similar style of sunny, carefree, catchy indie rock. Their tunes may not be as undeniably infectious as those of the Philly J’s, but their strength instead lies in the nifty guitar hooks which pin their debut album together. The guitar licks in Angeline slip and slide over one another to create something as engaging as it is relaxed. On the other hand, opening track Over The Hill combines a menacing riff with a driving rhythm section to great effect. Many tracks, such as When I Shake and Home, act more as loose jams than strict songs, and the singer’s effortless vocals help to contribute to the general air of ease. There may be millions of similar bands floating around Sydney (and particularly on Triple J) but Bearhug’s saving grace seems to be their impressive guitar work. Perhaps a more attention-grabbing vocal style and more outstanding production could lift Bearhug into the upper echelons of Australian indie rock – but perhaps they’re having too much of a great time chilling out to care that much.

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