PJ and the BEAR
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PJ and the BEAR

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"PJ and the Bear - PJ and the Bear"

Progressively, the ties between original rock n’ roll and modern day music wane ever more thin. A genre that was once centered on lighthearted entertainment has nearly been choked and forgotten by the infinite amounts of bastardized genres that take themselves too seriously. There is, however, the occasional old soul musician that Father Time seems to have misplaced into a different era of music altogether. We have found that musician in PJ Valletti, front man of PJ and the Bear. Valletti’s songs bring a sound that would have fit well in the malt shops of yesteryear, but with a loud, fast punch that would have done The Ramones proud. Scarcely a year ago, a chance meeting between Valletti and drummer Mike Fonseca lead to the first demos that would comprise their first full length album. The seventeen minute self-titled debut speeds through Chuck Berry inspired songs with punk rock tendencies.

PJ and the Bear have a familiar sound, but with an execution not quite like anything you have heard – or at least within the past few decades. The make up of the band is simple: guitar, bass, drums, and an able lead singer; but the quartet produces music that grabs, but not forces, your attention, without sounding overdone. The punk-rock n’ roll hybrid coupled with deliciously raunchy lyrics goes down sweet, like a thick milk shake. The songs capture you at first listen, but often end before they have had the proper time to develop. All under three minutes, the nine tracks are easy to swallow, but leave you hoping for more. The shortest tune, “Banana Split,” plays with the audience’s emotions. Immediately blasting to life with promise of being the most infectious song on the album, it ends just as suddenly as it started – a 45 second affair. The length, however, works to the collection’s advantage when the standard, four-on-the-floor pace slows down for the reminiscent love ballad “Back to Me”, whose length seem just right alongside the fast songs.

The album springs to life with “Loose Lady,” whose tight drums and frantic guitar set the perfect tone for the album, with simple but effective chord progression. The first six songs will give you the intense and undeniable need to dance. The entire album is a call to the dance floor, which is what Valletti, known for his explosive dancing during shows, would want. “Scarlet,” a sexy, 50s bop style tune, could inspire even the most ardent of wallflowers to twist along. Valletti’s music has become as much of a visual experience as a listening one. Sequined and drenched in sweat, he delivers spastic dance moves that exhaust even the listeners.

Overall, the album provides an intriguing trip back to a simpler time. It is a fun and unassuming, quipped with melodies made to stick in your head. PJ & the Bear refuse to take themselves too seriously, but have managed to come out of it with a decent, danceable collection of songs with a vintage crunch. - austinsound.net


Discography

Self titled LP.
Forthcoming new record, Underground Extravaganza.

Photos

Bio

PJ and The Bear is original music, with a live show that challenges and defines rock n roll. There couldn't be a better town than Austin,Tx for this band to be from. There is a mascot for the band, which is a bear suit from the 80's and has helped the band form it's own idenity. It has passed out flyers, been at happenings and been able to connect the band to the community. At shows theirs been a photo booth, where you could have your picture with the bear. The mascot has been at almost every show, promoting before and after, which has given the band alot of spirit. The band has worked with a costume designer that has worked at the playhouse in Fredsrickburg for 15 years. This has given the singer two one piece body suits to perform in, which gives the show a unique quality of showmanship and theatrics that stands alone. The sound and performance has been influenced by the pioneers of rock n roll, where the frontman is the focus and the band plays to that idea. It has been a long road to get the new record "Underground Extravaganza" ready for SXSW. The title reflects what PJ and The Bear has been fighting for, for over three years, sticking to the streets and staying original. The new record was recorded at Bruce Robinson's studio over four days and produced by John Bush, percussionist in Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians. The record is set for mixing and mastering through the winter and ready for SXSW.