Saturday, 24 September 2011

Review: Bear Lake

Bear Lake - If You Were Me (Independent)
If I had been the 'You' in question I think I would have tried a bit harder to pull a different rabbit out of this particular hat. That is, if I had the talent, which I don't, but I think that Bear Lake do. I mean, the overall sound isn't half bad, but I could write out a list of new(ish) bands right here, right now, whose recent albums would bury “If You Were Me”, and yet we would only be looking at the tip of my own particular musical iceberg. That list would include Lillies On Mars, Ganglians, Darker My Love, DOM, Miracle Fortress, Scattered Trees, The Dawn Band, Akron/Family, Minor Kingdom, Stereoflower (see review - a cracker!) - all their albums have 'hit my deck' in the past few days, and all have left a bigger mark upon it than this (if I were to mention War On Drugs, and the mark that it left - for 'mark' read ‘CRATER’ - I might have to start writing a whole new review).

However, Bear Lake have created one or two mini triumphs. A glorious indie rock track entitled "High On The Road", featuring a certain Jessica Hernandez, is a real glimmer of hope, as is the pertinent and perky "We Were The Young", which features an underlying anthemic drive that carries you along without letting go, and features a nice guitar break too. And then there’s the relaxed, nigh on acoustic "Sad Bastard", which is a pleasing break from the norm, and worth a listen or three.

The closing "1810" is also a fine song, part gentle reflective voice, part urgent instrumental accompaniment, with a full on orchestra effect helping to build more tension as the song progresses. It’s a neat ending to the album, which almost has you reaching for the repeat button. Almost...
Kev A.

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