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Bears - "Greater Lakes"

Bears - "Greater Lakes"

$ 7.98

Sonically, the group is an amalgamation of The Dream Academy, The Smiths, and the countless bright-eyed wonders that sprang up and disappeared on minuscule labels throughout the Upper Midwest in the wake of The Beatles. Not that that matters. Compare, despair. Where the fingers really hit the frets here is in the songs and there’s a wonderful push and pull to the infectious little suckers; for the most part we may divide them into two simple categories: the easy to discern strum fest (“You’re Going”) and the multi-layered dreamscape symphony in which what, exactly, is going on, isn’t exactly clear (“From Good to Bad”, the haunting “Don’t Wait”) but that ambiguity, that elusiveness, that enigmatic gusto becomes, quite precisely, the point.

Even then, though, there’s one thing in common twixt those two strands––these guys, as fish often say, really know their way around a hook. Each of the 11 here has some kind of infectious insistence that burrows its way into your ear, your brain, your soul, and resides there, driving you mad with its chilly precision. Witness “I Don’t Have You On My Mind”, a spooky little offering with a train-on-the-track rhythm and a vocal that would send shivers down the spine of an aged Shakespearian ghost.

The Ohioans aren’t about homage, pastiche, etc. At least not entirely. Yep, there’ a hint of The Posies and classic Big Star in “I Can’t Make Things Right” but it’s an update on that sound, on the brilliant harmonies, chord changes and infectious piano and guitar hooks. The closing update on the teenage-cum-post-adolescent love song, “Until The Very End”, leaves us hopeful for such a future even if it feels familiar, it has a bold state of mind and a gripping hand on our effortlessly throbbing hearts. If only falling in love with––or even listening to––more records was this easy.

1. Eleven A.M.
2. You're Going
3. From Bad to Good
4. More Left Out
5. Don't Wait
6. The City Still
7. I Don't Have You on My Mind
8. Perfect Girl
9. Wash My Hands
10. I Can't Make Things Right
11. Until the Very End

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