Bear in Heaven
Time Is Over One Day Old
Aug 04, 2014 Web Exclusive
Bear in Heaven's last outing, 2012's I Love You, It's Cool, completed a three-album cycle that slowly refined and streamlined these Brooklynites' unpredictable blend of pop and outright experimentation into something a hint more soft-edged and palatable. Time Is Over One Day Old, for its part, seems to take a step back, acknowledging the whole body of work but reintegrating just a pinch of those early (welcome) excesses, along with a decidedly more introspective and impenetrable vibe.
Out of the gates, standout "Autumn" is unabashedly psychedelic, driving its modal drone and chant-like melody deep into your brainpan, resplendent with synthesized/effected sounds to fill up the headphones and a steady robotic beat from Jason Nazary (a dynamic force as usual, by turns humanizing and amplifying the group's electronic pulses). "Demon" is another highlight, pairing a busy snare-centric beat and swelling keyboard pads with wilting vocal hooks from Jon Philpot and sparse, ghostly female chorus backing vox. It falls apart into a digital mess of noise mid-song and rebuilds itself from the embers.
On that embers/rebirth tip, let's close with the album's closers: "Dissolve the Walls" sees the whole low-key affair finally folding in on itself, all creepy ambience, an eerie chorus intoning "Let the walls dissolve/Till there's no room at all" as the song employs swells of noise to do just that to its own very structure. Out of the resulting fog comes "You Don't Need the World," sporting Adam Wills' bedrock bass and guitar work. Philpot's incantation of "I don't need the world/You don't need the world" encourages a stubborn indulgence, a willful resignation—into one's self, into one's companion, into music. It's a fair summary of the inward-facing turn the group has taken here. This one's for the headphones. (www.bearinheaven.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10