[sic] Magazine

Bear In Heaven – Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Further proof that Brooklyn is both magnet and hotbed, Bear In Heaven ‘s current four-piece call it home despite all originally hailing from the less-celebrated centres of Georgia and Alabama. Building on their debut’s warm, psychedelic prog, Beast Rest Forth Mouth (East West North South) is a large-scale progression that neatly welds krautrock and strong pop melodies onto their solid chassis.

Losing a member in between albums was unfortunate but inevitable when it was School Of Seven Bells that came calling. Their alluring psych-gaze partners Bear In Heaven’s kraut-pop well in all but track length. Jon Philpot ‘s attainable vocal and Bear In Heaven’s collective four-minute takes prove direct without being overly succinct, poppish without being too eager to please.

Featuring heavy delay, Beast Rest Forth Mouth shudders around aural space, generously throwing in identifiable choruses so seemingly absent elsewhere in the scene. The mid-tempo stomp of the opener “Beast In Peace” hardly ignites the album yet sets it smouldering with drawn-out drone over hand-drummed rhythms. The skittish psych-pop of “Wholehearted Mess” then introduces a rising synth pattern carried over into the irrepressible “You Do You”.

The mood is duly soured for “Lovesick Teenagers”, which runs with mournful synth chords yet undeniable determination. The huge rolling buzz and lollop of highlight “Ultimate Satisfaction” deserves a worthy vocal and Philpot provides it affecting wave after wave of Billy-Corgan -gone-pop emotion.

Best Rest Forth Mouth veers away from its poppier hunting crowds on “Deafening Love”. Understandably loud and allowed free reign on quality speakers it reveals itself to be a multi-layered offering heavy on menace and bass. “Drug A Wheel” is altogether darker and trudges through entrancing and paranoid sludge like Indian Jewelry might with an unhealthy keyboard dependency.

Bear In Heaven have a curious album on their hands. Neither summery psych nor crossover pop, neither indulgent nor clear in its aims, Beast Rest Forth Mouth isn’t the best of any of the directions it takes, yet resolutely finds itself heading for warmly likeable, if muddled, shores.

Best Rest Forth Mouth is out now on Hometapes .