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Beast Rest Forth Mouth (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Starting with steady, straightforward drumming and buried bass, Bear in Heaven almost sound like a less complicated Can on their second album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, something the quiet, dreamy vocals don't immediately counteract. In a way, this makes the sudden interjection of power chords and a distinctly familiar tinge to the singing a bit of a comedown — if mainstream prog crossed with woozy MBV-and-everything-after guitar is the latest place for indie to end up, then it apparently has to have a gloss on it that assumes that it was invented by Wayne Coyne (albeit midwived by Jon Anderson). The album as a whole doesn't quite escape this fluctuating role — to its benefit as well as detriment — while all too defiantly lodged in a sonic place that assumes electronics in pop stopped a number of years ago, say around the time of the original shoegazers. Sometimes the recombination of random impulses creates odd, enjoyable moments, like the shuddering, strange flow of "You Do You," with vocals echoing down a chorus along with the guitars, the watery percussion echo on "Drug a Wheel," or the compressed snarl and woozy swirl of "Ultimate Satisfaction." One feels a sense of stasis for all the recombination, though, an idea that this is as far as the band can either get, or is willing to get — an extension of past sounds instead of fully engaging with the musical lingua franca of now. Not too surprising given rock's endless possibilities for self-regard, but even so, a little frustrating somehow.


Formed: 2002 in New York, NY [Brooklyn]

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The initial seeds of Brooklyn-based Bear in Heaven were planted in 1998 as a way for Jon Philpot, who was then still living in his hometown of Atlanta, to express his musical ideas during the off hours of a local recording studio. After he moved to Brooklyn at the end of the decade, Philpot continued working on his music, which included the duo Presocratics, who released a couple of records on the experimental label Table of the Elements. During the next couple of years, as more friends and associates...
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Beast Rest Forth Mouth (Bonus Track Version), Bear In Heaven
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