Dancepunk five-piece Bearsuit's album The Phantom Forest heralds a fierce new sound for the band, who have swapped violins, flutes and horns for dirty synths, urgent guitars and infectious beats in the light of a dramatic line-up change. With a sprinkling of sonic dust from big-time producer Gareth Parton (The Go Team, Breeders, Foals) the band have created a perfectly off-the-wall pop masterpiece.
The Phantom Forest is laden with dance-floor fillers, killer beats and brazen melodies. It will keep you dancing until all the booze is drunk, with a birdsong finale to serenade your dawn-walk home. But lurking beneath, a more sinister and melancholy thread weaves the 12 tracks together.
Songwriter/guitarist Iain Ross explains: “The album’s theme starts with a train crash in a phantom forest. The surviving passengers have to re-establish a new kind of society, cut off from everything else, beset by dangerous creatures and mythical beasts. Underneath the shiny pop surface, the tracks are riddled with self-doubt and fear, with the characters constantly trying to escape their situation. They have to re-discover the point of their existence, which I guess is what we had to do as a band after our line-up change. We’ve found a new way of writing and playing songs.”
Beset by their own dangers, Bearsuit have survived to make the best album of their career. With a new rhythm section on board they have reinvigorated their sound - punctuating the songs with more urgency, but without losing their pop sensibilities and unaffected charm.