Solar Bear

Captains Of Industry EP

Written by: TL on 14/12/2010 22:26:48

Next band up tonight is a curious one, or at least they have a few curious things about them. The band is Solar Bear, a quartet from Denver, who have cheekily named their myspace page "solarbearclub". Remind you of something? That's just one thing drawing my interest though - Another would be the band's unashamed use of the singular label "emo", considering what they sound like here on their "Captains Of Industry EP".

You see, emo isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind, after the odd, interference-plagued noises of intro "Logical Fallacy" subsides in favor of spastic, distorted, mathy riffage and harsh screams on real opener "The Endless Choir". Already from this early point am I more inclined to think of a more specialized compound label when it comes to describing the band. Something like 'schizophrenic, experimental mathcore' perhaps?

Be that as it may, the mathy insanity gives way to unforgiving walls of distortion while the scream-vocals continue to hold a sermon full of punk-attitude, implying that these guys likely hold uncompromising frontier-bands like Refused and The Dillinger Escape Plan in high esteem. And while Solar Bear aren't anywhere near as likely to be confused with 'metal' as the latter of those two comparisons, they seem to have been similarly concerned with keeping their soundscape busy rather than bleak.

This results in songs that change personality faster than most normal music fans will follow, with chaos turning into atmosphere, turning into monologues, turning into feedback and so on. There seems to also be an emerging awareness of the necessity for hooks (and yes, there is such a thing, even in experimental hardcore), with the guitar occasionally supplying a groove, a melody or a wailing mini-solo, under the general feeling of havoc being maintained by the bass and drums.

When that's said and done though, engaging the listener with music that urges to surprise or shock the listener at most turns, is still relatively hard work, and I don't see it happening hear as successfully as it sometimes can (see: Letlive). There's a wealth of decent ideas being offered, and an admirable desire to be more than just another generic hardcore band. Following this desire to a position as a band where people start to consistently notice you above your peers however, that's comparable to walking a tightrope, and I don't see these guys getting there just yet. Nice early effort though.


Download: The Endless Choir, Mr. Iconoclastic Vs. The Captains Of Industry, Kafka Roaches
For The Fans Of: name, Refused, Letlive,

Release Date September 17.08.2010

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