Bear Country is evolving once again. When I heard them this summer, their sound had gone from run-of-the-mill to something special. Well, their sound continues to get even more special; if last night’s packed LP-release show at Slowdown Jr. (just south of 200 attended) is any indication. The band played songs off the new EP, Frozen Lake, and there were a few rough moments as vocalist Susan Sanchez suffered from a soar throat. Ah, but the show must go on, no matter how raspy your voice is. In the end, she sounded fine.
The big change, however, came in the form of their new songs, specifically two tunes that were fronted by guitarist/vocalist James Maakestad. Both started out with Maakestad playing a simple folk-versed melody by himself on acoustic guitar. When both songs started, I thought they were pretty if not repetitive. Maybe too repetitive, especially over the course of multiple verses. To be honest, I was beginning to get bored, but then slowly the rest of the band joined in on the repetition, and grew the songs to anthemic levels before falling back again. These songs seemed to go on for 10 minutes or more each, and were probably too long in the build-up stage, but the pay off was exquisite, especially for the last song of the evening. Now I want to hear them again… (See photo).
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Tonight at The Waiting Room is Night 2 of The Faint’s three sold-out nights. If I had to choose one of the three nights to attend, it would be tonight as Digital Leather is opening, along with FTL Drive. Digital Leather’s new album, Warm Brother, is one of the best surprises of ’09 — a terrific electric garage rock album that you can actually dance to. Which makes them a perfect opener for The Faint. Show starts at 9 p.m. Get there early.
Tomorrow: The Year in Review 2009.
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