Australian band Boy & Bear breaks into new territory with “Limit of Love”

Andy Frakes

Boy & Bear, an Australian five-piece outfit delivering music to your ears since 2009, has just dropped a new album. “Limit of Love” is 11 songs long and you’re gonna like it.

The first three tracks are my favorites; the album starts off with a 70’s-rock vibe, very easy to listen to, very comfortable.Boy & Bear COLOR

This album begins with a lo-fi background beat and a mild bass riff. The style in which the album is recorded gives it a vinyl feel, and at times reminds of The Black Keys on a soft day. Boy & Bear are lighter on guitar, leaning more toward clean single notes than distorted power chords, but we’re certainly in blues-rock territory here. The vocals are soulful and the drumbeats get your finger tapping—both prerequisites for the staying power of this album.

In “Walk the Wire,” the album’s second track, some synth is brought in for a nice effect. The blues feel is suppressed slightly and we’re given a more alt-rock feel. Bass and guitar are definitely present, but instead of the retro drum track there’s more vibrancy in the percussion; the beat is more even and smooth, and the faster pace of this song takes the us from tapping our fingers to bobbing our heads. Maybe even some foot-tapping going on here. I dig.

A best-fit line is hard to draw through the variety of songs contained in this album. That’s not so much a critique as an intrigued observation; “Moonfire,” the first release from Boy & Bear, has a decidedly more folksy feel to it. It’s easier to classify. Now that the band has put out “Limit of Love,” however, they’ve broken into some new territory.

They can play blues, they can play rock and they can play folk. There’s still acoustic strumming at times, and some layered vocals reminiscent of The Lumineers, or something, but these guys are able to take influences from folk, rock, blues and jazz (like the guitar riffs mid-track on “Just Dumb”) and blend it into something all their own.

“Limit of Love” is a valuable addition to any music-lover’s collection, and it’s certainly worth that initial listen.

You’ll see, or rather, you’ll hear for yourself soon enough that Boy & Bear is here to stay.