Bear in Heaven

There's something dark at the edges of Bear in Heaven's psychedelic rock, a miasma that shades what would otherwise be lush, synth-heavy songs with a sense of inky foreboding. That's not to say that the band traffics in big bursts of noise or loads of distortion (those might actually provide some sort of release from the druggy anxiety that's so central to their sound); they can get loud, but rarely angry. This would be the sound of a trip that borders on bad if it weren't for the bits of euphoria that pierce the darkness in tiny patches, flashes that feel extra large due to the rest of the music's murky strangeness. There are plenty of hooks here, but they're gnarled, twisted into shapes that seem unfamiliar until repeated listens unravel them. For those willing to work to get comfortable with the band's sound, there's a sizable payoff (especially in a live setting), but Bear in Heaven won't be holding your hand through the most twisted stretches. With Twin Sister and Mountain Man. (Photo by Mark Mahaney)
Tue., July 20, 8 p.m., 2010
 
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