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Don’t Poke The Bear: Maps

Rugged rock influence meets simplistic acoustic leanings and sentimental nuance.

3 Aug 2018 / Opinion, Review / written by Skye Mallac

Navigating the general scope of the human condition in a 10-track offering which swings neatly between genre, Capetonian trio Don’t Poke The Bear delivers a carefully curated album which could have ventured just a few strides more from their comfort zone.

Thematically toeing the varied lines of the human condition, the album navigates love, loss and the detrimental complexity of humankind at large as their sound swings from rock ’n roll influence to acoustic ballads and back again.

A catchy two-chord melody opens the offering with ‘Electricity’, countered by hefty drum-work courtesy of Tammy Leigh, as the easy love song explores electric attraction between two people with sappy charm. A staccato-driven melody takes to the fore in ‘Broken’, which is an extensive exploration of one’s personal vulnerability and emotional barriers. “Do you wanna be scared, or do you wanna be open? / you wanna feel some shit but you don’t wanna be broken.” Daniel Marc Cowen’s roughened vocals pose an oft-apt question.

Xylophone drips through in ‘One in the Morning’, while ‘Bigger & Badder’ and ‘Loves Me Not’ pull through old-school rock influence. Love songs are rife and quintessential, but ‘Generation of Shame’, building on a chiming piano foundation, gruelingly unveils the varied wounds of the world in the hands of this generation.

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Listen to the album on Apple Music.