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We Came Here to Die

Bear Colony

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Album Review

A full dozen contributors are listed in the credits of Bear Colony's debut album, but the heart of the collective is singer/songwriter Vince Griffin. Griffin's boy-next-door vocals and sweet-and-sour melodic sense are Bear Colony's focal point: everyone else (members of various minor indie bands such as Lovedrug and Decahedron, plus singer/songwriter Chase Pagan) chips in with various instruments and vocals, but it's so much Griffin's show that no matter what the lineup on any given track, We Came Here to Die is an appealingly consistent album in terms of arrangements and overall sound. A more pop-oriented version of Broken Social Scene comes to mind on several tracks, especially the kinetic "I'm Not Brave," and a gently electronic sheen covers most of the album, blending easily with the predominantly acoustic guitars and the hints of violin and slide guitar that decorate the tunes. We Came Here to Die (apparently mostly written during an extended health scare for Griffin, since resolved) has a overall sense of quiet optimism in its generally upbeat, melodic tunes, with just enough angst to give the whole thing some weight.

Biography

Formed: Little Rock, AR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Taking inspiration from everyday electronic sounds, Arkansas-based indie rock collective Bear Colony are the vision of Vince Griffin, with help from members of such bands as Unwed Sailor, Lovedrug, and Decahedron. Griffin had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease (later disproved), prompting him to write songs in his bedroom. To expand the scope of his ideas, he recruited several friends: Brooks Tipton (Unwed Sailor), Adam Putman, Matt Putman (Lovedrug), Matt...
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We Came Here to Die, Bear Colony
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