At some point in our past, we were all angsty, insecure, a little self-important. The hope is that the years have ripened us into sweet and self-assured individuals, capable of stability and meaningful relationships. For us, the jury is still out, but as for Bear in Heaven, the flighty lust of years past seems to have dissipated into a calm that comes only with time.
The release of their most recent album on April 3rd, I Love You, It’s Cool, heralds a new era for the band. The swelling heart-too-big-for-my-chest sounds have simmered to a slow and steady burn. If you haven’t heard it yet, the song titles compared to those of the 2010 album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, should be enough of an implication: "Lovesick Teenagers" vs. "Idle Heart", "Wholehearted Mess" vs. "Cool Light", and "Ultimate Satisfaction" vs. "Space Remains." It was a little disorienting to hear the bursting progressions from the previous release played along side the new ones. We were asked to flip back and forth between hyper-emotion/uncomfortable woe and sincere play-drive and dance. It’s a 15-year-old and a 30-year-old in the same brain, fighting for dominance.
But we found our resting place in the synth-induced nostalgia. The textured effects and elongated echoes were roped in by declarations of love and manifestos of “Sinful Nature." Half way through the set, vocalist Jon Philpot turned to the crowd and said, “It's Tuesday night and it's okay…it's okay we are getting fucked up and crazy. It's all okay and all that shit.” The stage steadily filled with smoke until the band members dissolved into white while “Dust Cloud” panned off the invisible wall. And then, appearing again, Philpot wailed at the crowd and brought it on home. By the end, the smoke had sunk back again.
To close the show, they dedicated the song “Kiss Me Crazy” to their friends, whose house they were supposedly crashing at, and as the chorus rang out (I really want to kiss you crazy), it was hard not to hear it as an ode to their pals waiting for them off stage. Such is the life of a touring band. But we have to say: it looks pretty good on them.
Written By Alexis Sophie Kozak