Brighton Music Hall staged some of this modern take on a reminiscing sound with Bear in Heaven, supported by Doldrums and Blouse. The earthy noise of Doldrums, heavy with looping soundclips of bells, blues and makeshift instrumentation, was followed by the steady trance-rock of Blouse, where bass lines with independent counterpoint to waves of synth and Robert Smith riffs collaborated for a humble but resonating sound.
But it was the three-piece from Brooklyn Bear in Heaven who made the deepest cerebral imprint. Again, the mix of classic ‘80s rock guitar was threaded within ringing synth and staccato distortion. While the sound could have easily been supported by the standard drum machine, the live drums echoed and pounced in that classic ‘80s rhythm.
In a violent, beautiful pairing of sound and light, the strobes smacked themselves to the beat that entered your pleasure center. There was a mental serenity found in the repetition – but not necessarily predictability – of Bear in Heaven’s rhythm.
Vocals were happily buried in the sound board, and with their probable heartache lyrics from songs like “I Love You, It’s Cool” and “Lovesick Teenagers” not having to breaking through on their own, there was an optimism felt most by those who enjoyed the music with their eyes closed. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of shut lids that night.
The ‘80s genre defined by synthesizers and drum machines hasn’t fallen far behind; rather, the opportunities for musicians to experiment with classic sounds through revolutionized technology means the ‘80s have found their way into the electronic indie dance world more than ever. And thanks to bands like Bear in Heaven, the era has a new, modern place to stay.
Photo Credit: Carolyn Vallejo