Bear Girl - Le Fantastique
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Record Label: Cardigan
Le Fantastique is important to Bear Girl for a few reasons. The first is that it’s their first release on Cardigan Records, and indie label that specializes in progressive, indie, and experimental music – Bear Girls fits right in. The second is that it surpasses their debut EP, the three track Psychodrama, in every way.
Le Fantastique is a difficult album to categorize. It falls into all three of the genres above, with some pop sensibilities and post-hardcore edge thrown in for good measure. Most of the time, they’re all of those things at once. “Occurrence I: The Dissimulator” is one example, shifting from a poppy intro to a breakdown to a fast, technical riff back into a heavy bridge, before the song fades into a creepy, echoey final thirty seconds. “Occurrence II: Out of the Chasm” sounds like two songs spliced together, demonstrating the band’s ability to shift time from a progressive track into a punk song without missing a beat. “Occurrence VI: The Quintessential End” is probably the single greatest showcase of the band’s technical ability, featuring both its most versatile and most impressive musicianship, bouncing from a proggy riff to a soft ambient bridge and back.
While the band’s musicality is their real draw, that says more about the strength of their instrumentation than it does about their vocalist’s ineptitude. Because he’s really not – when he’s singing, he’s got a shaky, deep voice that always sounds anxious, and only adds to the vibe of the music. When he’s shouting, which is the more prevalent of the two, he sounds just the opposite, commanding and gruff. But either way, he compliments the instrumentation perfectly.
Keep your eyes out for Bear Girl. They’ve got their sound down – and their sound encapsulates enough to pull in fans of all different genres. I guess Le Fantastique is a pretty appropriate title.
Nice review man. However you end up categorizing these guys, I'm really into it. Their ability to shift so smoothly between genres is a big draw for me and really provides a fun listen. Hopefully they pick up some more exposure with this release and can jump on a decent sized tour, I'd love to see em live. I think they could fit in with a pretty large variety of bands.