Galaxy Bear – Gala Xyb Ear EP


Claiming to be “your favourite band with a bear drummer”, this Auckland-based 6-piece starts the year out rocking with their debut 7-track EP.

Galaxy Bear have been floating around the Auckland music scene for a year or so, with opening track Babylon Nonsense having been released as a single last March. As a lead-off for the EP, it serves its purpose well. The drums pound…played by David Harris, who is not actually a bear…and the guitars, played by Lucas Haugh and Michael Gianan, lay down a big, gutsy riff.

“She’s got the truth on vinyl cause you know that’s where it sounds the best”… the first line is spit out faster than a semi-automatic…and we’re off and running. With six players, the band has a big, expansive sound and on this track they sound barely in control. It’s a thrilling introduction.

Why My Head Hurts features a slower, grungy guitar riff and reveals the band’s love of space and time travel. “You can feel your hopes destroyed when you’re living on an asteroid.”  Its five-minutes plus of mind-bending space rock.

Second single Mophead has a lighter touch with a cruisey synth line and a soulful, yet still psychedelic touch.

Then there’s Keith Richards, a tune most likely inspired by the Facebook meme wondering what kind of world we’ll be leaving the seemingly indestructible Stone. It ends with a guitar solo that Keith himself would no doubt admire if he were ever to hear it.

From there things slow down and stretch out.

Clandestine Elephant finds the singer wondering what the future will hold, while the nearly-seven minute Going Home is an echo-drenched dreamscape that, perhaps goes on a bit too long…although I have a feeling this one comes alive on stage.

Which brings us to Outer Space, a two-minute twinkling instrumental coda that serves as a gentle come down after the not-so-long, somewhat strange musical trip we’ve just been on.

The EP was recorded at Roundhead Studios and produced by studio engineer Patrick Hill along with keyboard player Joshua Worthington-Church.  Mastering was by Jonathan Pearce, who seems to be everywhere these days…playing with everyone from The Beths to Aldous Harding to Princess Chelsea and many others.

This is a digital-only release at the moment…you can find it here…although there may be CD later in the year.

However you choose to hear it, I recommend giving these guys a spin.

Marty Duda