EP EXCLUSIVE: THREADBEAR | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle trio ThreadBear are one of the bands helping to keep emo alive in the local music scene. Describing themselves as “A little bit heavy, a little bit pretty, always sad but never not quoting Peep Show or Hot Rod,” the band comprises of guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Teggert, bassist and vocalist Sam Riseborough and drummer Shane Nickerson. ThreadBear released their three-track debut EP I’ve Been Dissappointed [sic] For The Best Part Of Nine Years last year: a scrappy little gem of a record, somewhat rough but undeniably passionate and honest, and with buckets of musical promise. After spending the last 12 months further honing their sound, the band once again travelled to Crystal Sound Studios in Norfolk (where they recorded their debut), living together above the studio for several intense days of recording. “When we head down to record with Jack Murphy at Crystal Sound, it’s just us three and him crammed into a studio together for the whole time with really bad internet,” explains Sam. “It’s a very intense experience but it helps to really work off each other and we’ve got a good familiarity with Jack – he knows what music we want to produce so it all works well.”

The result is Poland Spring, an EP that is immediately more self-assured and dynamic than their previous effort. While it’s still heavy in parts, it’s more accessible than their previous effort, with more hooks and infectious choruses. Their influences are still clear, with smatterings of the likes of Brand New, Jawbreaker and The Get Up Kids, but they’ve clearly worked on carving their own sound. “We pretty much wrote the first EP in two weeks and it was the first time we’d written together,” says Sam. “Whereas with this EP, we’ve spent pretty much an entire year working with each other and developing a sound that we’re all happy with.” From the twinkling opening chords of intro track Boot Shirt which then dives straight into Ridgefield, which twists and turns in tempo from rolling and laid-back to urgent and heartfelt, it’s obvious that ThreadBear are much more confident the second time around.

It was actually a visit to Boston, one of the most eclectic and influential cities in the USA when it comes to its music scene, that heavily influenced Poland Spring. “We’ve got a really wide range of influences for our music but one band that me and Jonathan discovered when we were in Boston last year are a band called Free Throw that we caught at a show, and they made us kind of rethink the way that we create songs. We showed them to Shane and now he loves them just as much as we do.” The first single from their EP, Sad Adams Summer, an anthemic slice of pop punk with sing-your-heart-out lyrics, was even influenced by Boston’s finest beer, Samuel Adams. “Jonathan and I went out in Boston after seeing the Red Sox with some of my friends who are rugby players and know how to drink. For every drink of Sam Adams Summer Ale they bought for themselves, they bought us one each and it ended up at 12+…Long story short, I changed my name to Sad on Facebook when I was very drunk and it just made sense to call a song that.”

Though ThreadBear have already released Sad Adams Summer as a taster of what to expect from Poland Spring, it’s third track Pollen that’s the stand-out here, with more depth and fervour than any other track. An ode to being unhappy with someone but not being able to be happy without them, it’s driven by Sam’s frustrated, impassioned cries. Backed up with Jonathan’s heavier, yelled vocals and Shane’s punchy, resonant drumming, there’s an explosive nervous energy at play. So what are ThreadBear’s main goals? “Not too much really, just to write music we’d want to listen to and have a nice time doing it… Oh and record an Audio Tree session, play the Warped Tour and headline Download.” 

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