Every Michigander — or at least the five Michiganders in Bear vs. Shark — will tell you it takes hefty portions of beer, campfire smoke and ATVs to write an impressive follow-up to 2003’s Right Now, You’re in Good Hands. The band wrote Terrorhawk secluded in a cabin in the Upper Peninsula — further disconnecting them from the redundant Detroit rock ’n’ roll scene they never quite belonged to anyway. The songs on Terrorhawk show BVS utilizing longer and airier passages, and shouter Marc Paffi is less chaotic and more focused on melody. "Baraga Embankment" opens with gentle piano strokes and Paffi’s calming vocals, culminating with tense percussion and symphonic brass — adding bits of jazzy swagger. Elsewhere, "Antwan" and "Out Loud Hey Hey" boil like Hot Water Music covering At the Drive-In. These moments are rare, losing out to the more eclectic sides of "What a Horrible Night for a Curse" and "Heard Iron Bug, ‘They’re Coming to Town.’" Terrorhawk is gritty, yet charming — like the stripper who appears far too innocent to be entertaining men, yet handling the pole and manipulative lap dances with aplomb. Bear vs. Shark is still just nasty enough to make Detroit proud.
Friday, June 10, at the Blind Pig (208 First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555).
Dustin Walsh writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.