Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Beast Rest Forth Mouth
Bear in Heaven
独立摇滚 , 实验音乐

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While it may seem as if there's not a new release without a hyphenated genre to give it birth, Bear in Heaven's second LP feels fresh simply because it resists easy categorization or comparison. This isn't to say it's sonically groundbreaking, though-- fitting for an album whose title references the four main navigational directions, Beast Rest Forth Mouth is as familiar-feeling as it is difficult to pinpoint. Mostly made up of textural, spacious three- to four-minute pop anthems with towering choruses, BRFM is a welcome reminder that an album doesn't have to be bombastic to feel huge and important. Take out the earbuds and let it fill a space: This is music that's bigger than your iPod-- music you'll want to feel all around you.

Though not quite coming out of nowhere, BRFM seems like a surprise gift-- a striking consolidation of the spiky psych-prog tendencies of their debut into a pop framework. In terms of career gear-shifts, the move Caribou made with Andorra is the most recent precedent. Though at 41 minutes the album is economical and sharp in its execution, the band-- all from Georgia and Alabama-- still imbues its compositions with the generosity of spirit that makes the best Southern rock so invigorating. "Beast in Peace" opens the record with a gentle lockstep before shifting seamlessly into a mile-wide chorus. Then, they expand that chorus even further, like switching to the widest camera lens to capture a vista they just realized the full vastness of. Elsewhere, as its title indicates, "Ultimate Satisfaction" is an IMAX-wide ode to what starts out as a simple thought, then turns bodily-- the refrain of "coming down!" charts the sensation spreading like a spasm. That towering exultation is also felt on the primal "Deafening Love". While aiming for a similar sense of awe-inspiring bliss, "Love" widens the focus and luxuriates in the tremors, approximating a more protracted take on Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song".

Yet Bear in Heaven's greatest trick is creating music that evokes the sort of physicality and scope that could soundtrack a Hollywood film, but also works equally well at stirring up intimate bodily passion. Lush synth beds, warm electronics accenting polyrhythms, and Jon Philpot's yearning, boyish howl coalesce into a vibe that's muscular without being macho, and which strikes a rare balance between nuanced emotion and overwhelming sensation. Even when delving into more disconcerting subject matter-- dabbling in self-loathing on "Wholehearted Mess" or confronting paranoia on the slinky "You Do You"-- Philpot still manages to imbue the songs with an atmosphere of seduction and intrigue.

An album like BRFM couldn't exist without a paean to the most severe and high-stakes of endeavors, and first single "Lovesick Teenagers" more than meets the requirements for 2009's Epic Song About Tortured Young Romance. With briskly alternating synth chords spitting by like fast-moving highway stripes, the titular couple are doomed to crash, but most likely in a JG Ballard sort of way. The pair martyr themselves in order to eternalize their passion, and the band is generous enough to resurrect them later, in the reprise of "Teenagers" that closes the album, seamlessly and surprisingly emerging from "Casual Goodbye". As a gesture, it's a slight nod backwards to the suite-like structures of their debut, but moreoever a celebration of abundance that wraps up an album overflowing with feeling. It's also an exclamation point signaling that Bear in Heaven not only clearly recognize their own best instincts, they're not shy about dwelling on them. Sure, bands can adapt to the current musical climate by adding extras to LPs, tweaking release dates to accommodate fan interest, or even giving away their music free. A curtain call like "Teenagers", though: now that's generosity.

专辑《Beast Rest Forth Mouth》的歌曲列表


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01 Beast in Peace

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02 Wholehearted Mess

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03 You Do You

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04 Lovesick Teenagers

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05 Ultimate Satisfaction

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06 Dust Cloud

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07 Drug a Wheel

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08 Deafening Love

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09 Fake Out

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10 Casual Goodbye

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