This is my second time reviewing this band at the Bodega. Clearly I love dear Eliza.
Date: December 5, 2016
No one in this band is called Eliza, says Eliza and the Bear’s Twitter account. Nor does the band contain a bear. Trades descriptions would have a field day with this lot.
What this London five-piece do have – in abundance, and as a redeeming factor – is tunes, big, meaty choons that nestle into your cranium and snuggle there until forever.
From the rushed Afro-beat of Where Have You Been they’re irreverent and playful, a silky mix of relentlessly upbeat guitars and knowingly meaningful lyrics.
They also yield one of the most durable songs of recent indie-rock times in Light It Up, an earnest firecracker of a thing; a lavish celebration of pop, pulling the crowd this way and that with its gigantic hooks. Hands clap, people sway and sing joyously.
It might have been an early highlight but for the Mumford and Sons-esque folk-pomp of Lion’s Heart, a song that could be as universal as happy birthday had it been released by the aforementioned Indie-folk titans.
Elsewhere, It Gets Cold is anthemic, chest-beatingly proud and staggering.
They end with the ebullient Friends, and it’s rammed full of handclaps, sun-soaked vocal harmonies, upbeat drums and blasts of brass. No song better captures the largely hidden rosy optimism of the post-Brexit lull more than Friends. “I’ve got friends, I’ve got family here” sings (singer) triumphantly, suggesting that politics can never dampen the mood when it’s ripe. It’s so trippy and devilishly contagious that cider giants Bulmers chose it for their advert.
In all, they’re harmonious; they’re a unit of joyous bouncy pop; they’re a forceful, zesty fizzing pop band.
There’s a hole in the zeitgeist dear Eliza. Go fill it.