Tracks from the past: Comforting memories, Bear vs. Shark’s album instilled gung-ho euphoria

BY RYAN FOSMARK | JULY 09, 2009 7:21 AM

Bear vs. Shark
Right Now You’re in the Best of Hands …
July 22, 2003

In 2003, Bear vs. Shark released Right Now You’re in the Best of Hands. And If Something Isn’t Quite Right, Your Doctor Will Know in a Hurry. The album is as comforting and reassuring as the name declares.

The first track on the album, “Ma Jolie” illustrates the band’s straight-forward and original sensibility with an intro that consists of merely four repeating notes. The series somehow manages to sound like a towering giant skipping over mountains with a guitar in its hands. It was inspiring to hear such monumental music emanate from the sounds and approach of the band rather than the notes it played, only to be followed by impeccable drums and a smooth, driving guitar melody in the song “Campfire.”

The lyrics of the album produced such concise visual images and intricate emotions through Marc Paffi’s desperately singing and shouting voice. The song, “Buses/No Buses” tells of an unbearable human anticipation in the chorus with “Think ahead, my lungs leapt in my throat to choke, and move the lever now. My hands are shaking, and my eyes, my eyes are shaking. Set up, set up.”

Another track, “Bloogiver,” tells of the desire to leave home and begin again in a new place, with such lyrics as “Stand into the mountains. Aphrodisiac to pull me west again.”

As its name alludes, aggression was Bear vs. Shark’s calling card. Its live shows exhibited the members throwing their bodies to and fro, with Paffi spazzing out in uncontrollable, visceral musical glory. The way the band combined its patented sonic attack and all-together friendly, major-key arrangements in such a unified raw rock sound in Right Now You’re in the Best of Hands … instilled a sense of gung-ho euphoria that made listeners feel as if they truly were in the best of hands.

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