The transformation undergone by Bear In Heaven between their outstanding Home-Tapes debut, Red Bloom Of The Boom, and their sophomore release Beast Rest Forth Mouth, is, quite literally, breathtaking. Red Bloom debuted Bear In Heaven’s experimental rock with a sound that was, for the most part, entirely their own. Sure, there were traces of influence that in my opinion sided pretty heavily toward artists like Animal Collective, but it was also fairly unparalleled in its style of experimentation.
What sets Beast Rest Forth Mouth apart from its predecessor is, well, pretty much everything. Initially, it sounds like your typical progression; the instrumentation and production have moved forward in an expected manner. But there’s something else: the vocals are higher in pitch and where Red Bloom featured some fairly significant moments of minimalism, Beast Rest opener “Beast In Peace” features omnipresent instrumentation, full and at times even massive.
While these sounds continue throughout the album, their minimalistic nature remains but is most prevalent toward the end in tracks like “Drug A Wheel” and “Fake Out”.
Beast Rest Forth Mouth is filled with high points: “You Do You”, “Wholehearted Mess” and “Ultimate Satisfaction”, to name a few. All have excellent backing instrumentation; the presence of synths and keys and various looped sounds is oft immense, keeping things moving forward and interesting. No longer is Bear In Heaven focused on dissonant sounds — they’re now harmonic. Harmony doesn’t necessarily lead to a label like avant-garde, but that title is one item that remains between Bear In Heaven’s two albums. But, perhaps the most important element that remains consistent is Bear In Heaven’s genius song-craft.
Bear In Heaven: Lovesick Teenagers [mp3]
[audio:091013-bear_in_heaven-lovesick_teenagers.mp3|titles=Lovesick Teenagers|artists=Bear In Heaven]
Bear In Heaven: Wholehearted Mess [mp3]
[audio:091013-bear_in_heaven-wholehearted_mess.mp3|titles=Wholehearted Mess|artists=Bear In Heaven]
Home-Tapes [CD, 2009]
1. Beast In Peace
2. Wholehearted Mess
3. You Do You
4. Lovesick Teenagers
5. Ultimate Satisfaction
6. Dust Cloud
7. Drug A Wheel
8. Deafening Love
9. Fake Out
10. Casual Goodbye