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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Bears
Bears
self-released

Rating: 8/10 ?


August 4, 2006
I haven't seen the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yet, but I hear the visuals are stunning. I always loved the idea of a world made of candy, where everything is as edible as it is fun to play with. The chocolate river flowing around the grounds, the teacups, the gummy bears - all of it as sweet as one could imagine. I hope Tim Burton did the original justice, in that scene at least. The movie is made of fantasy and what better fantasy than a candy world? A child's dream, a diabetics nightmare…

Bears live in a fantasy world of their own, which they have graciously documented with this undeniably sweet, debut album. It's hard to believe this 60's influenced twee-pop comes from the dry and dull Midwest, but it does. Ohio to be exact. This group of six friends (who all apparently love Smashing Pumpkins) have picked up where the Zombies of the late 60's left off. Matched with the summertime bubblegum of the Beach Boys, Bears know how to make a person feel good. It's slight, it's simple and daggummit it is enjoyable.

Bears' greatest strength lies in their vocal qualities and harmonies; at times they sound like the Mama's & the Papa's visiting Frankie and Annette at a Beach Blanket Bingo tournament. With tinkling pianos adding a sugary flare to the Bears' sound, Bears is pretty and sweet as can be.

To close out the album the Ohioans make a run of songs that easily flow directly into one another. The short "Things I Should Say" (a song about the first hints of love between a new couple) melds into "Goodbye Song" so seamlessly that it is hard to realize there has been a track change until a minute and some change pass by. "Goodbye Song" in turn carries directly into "Still The Same," handclaps and all, stitching together a wonderful run of songs to ramp up the album into its closing track, "Stay." The finale, which is not a Lisa Loeb cover, sees the Bears stepping from the 60's into the 70's with an upbeat dance number that wears a patch from the Roxy Music fan club on its sleeve, taking the band a few steps into a dusky twilight, bringing out a more sexual side to Bears.

With genres being bent left and right I feel there are a lot of good bands around right now, but there is still something to be said for a band that marks its target and stays with it. Though the one and only downfall to Bears may be the repetitive nature in the sounds of each song, they sure can cute it up. They are charming. They are the Belle & Sebastian of the Midwest Americas. They are Bears and they've got the makings of your new favorite summertime band.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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