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Close encounters of the
Brooklyn kind

Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
(Hometapes Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 2, 2010
Bear In Heaven

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Bear In Heaven's sophomore album Beast Rest Forth Mouth [the title a play on the directions East, West North, South], the Brooklyn-based indie-rock quartet have created a unique and often arresting collection of new music that incorporates snatches of electronica, psychedelia and even a bit of ambient Krautrock. As cold and foreboding as this may sound, however, there's also just enough pop sensibilities that peek through the lush, shoegazing arrangements that gives one the pleasing, yet slightly surreal sensation of slowly floating down a stream of warm water.

Vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Jon Philpot leads the band through a maze of hazy, dream-pop numbers such as "Wholehearted Mess," "Ultimate Satisfaction," "Lovesick Teenager," complete with its likeable and rubbery synth rhythm, and the ethereal chill of "You Do You," before downshifting into the spiraling drone-pop of "Dust Cloud" and the cinematic and sweeping, psychedelic track "Deafening Love," which features Philpot's echoing cries amidst the ominous minor chords provided by a synthetic orchestra.

As much the sounds and shapes float throughout this gravity-free environment, the otherworldliness of Beast Rest Forth Mouth is also grounded with a warming human touch, much in the same way Brian Eno's early solo records or mid-career Flaming Lips' albums melded futuristic sounds with both heart and mind. While Bear In Heaven's spacey, foray into the outer regions of music may not be for everyone, it should certainly appeal to those experimental souls in search of something new and challenging. And for those, perhaps Richard Dreyfuss summed it up best from the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as his character contemplated the massive lump shape he unwittingly created in his family's living room, "This means something. This is important." All without really knowing why.

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