Wojtek the Bear – Second Nature

Glasgow four-piece Wojtek the Bear are back with Second Nature, an EP that takes the listener on a journey through changing opinions and lifestyle changes in a typically Scottish manner.

Opener ‘Trivial Pursuit’ is a coming of age story with a difference, logging the struggle of moving into your thirties while still trying to cling onto the wild stories of your youth (“sometimes I wish I could stand still, to put an end to this transition”); this is a dichotomy to which all to many people will be able to relate.

The driving drums and melodic guitar give the track a languid, reflective tone while the vocals are sparse and intermittent.

They certainly let the music do the talking on this track.

‘Badge of Honour’ takes a look at Scotland’s relationship with alcohol (“there’s a glamour in this illness / a certain beauty in my faults,”) while the atmospheric guitars wouldn’t be out of place in a pub full of hardened men looking into whisky glasses.

The bassline and picked guitar give this song an almost cheery tone, which manages to mask the harsh subject matter, not unlike adding water to whisky.

‘Bookcase’ is a well-constructed track that seems to deal with moving on from a relationship and shutting yourself off (“I filed it (my heart) high up on the bookcase where no-one ever thinks to look”).

The different components of this song fit together well like a flat pack bookcase and make for an excellent finished article.

The EP ends on the melancholy ‘What’s For Ye’, the opening of guitar and vocal during the verse works well and leads into the chorus “I’ve never really bought it, at least until today”, tying in well with the opening track as the band begin the EP by looking for answers and end with acceptance that what will be will be.

The track builds up to a melodic guitar solo to end the EP on an inspiring note.

Words: Steven Aitken

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