Wednesday, June 4, 2014

REVIEW: Gold-Bears - Dalliance

I am particularly drawn to guitar pop songs that hit you like a crashing wave right out of the gate.  You know the type -- the vocals, guitars and drumming all is at a level that some songs only hit when rounding to the chorus.  Well, it seems that Jeremy Underwood, the head bear of Atlanta's Gold-Bears, knows what I like because he has recorded an album of such tunes, named it Dalliance, and released it this week via Slumberland Records.  He even has referred to as "crash pop".  So thanks, Jeremy.  I owe you one!

This record is more about energy than fidelity, but that fits the material well.  There is plenty of feedback and fuzz, and the noise level is more Wedding Present, Joanna Gruesome or Superchunk than it is Seapony or Shimmering Stars.  This group of players is unafraid to show their noise pop and punk influences, and they have the confidence and chops to do so without burying the excellent pop songs within.  Moreover, the album is stark proof that you can sing about regret, loss and other dark subjects while having great fun in doing so.  Two of the best songs are below, but this is an album that doesn't have any duds.  My most frequently played of the set lately is "From Tallahassee to Gainesville".  There is a lot of music I should be listening to lately, but Gold-Bears has been capturing a disproportionate share of available minutes.  And I'm not going to do anything about that.

By the way, the Gold-Bears drummer gets a WYMA gold star -- he must be exhausted!

In addition to Underwood, Gold-Bears includes Clinton Callahan, Sam Jacobsen, Scotty Hoffman and Sean Zearfoss.  In addition, Emma Kupa of the late Standard Fare provided vocals on "Yeah, Tonight".

Slumberland Records

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