Many bands claim to be derivative without redundancy, but few actually achieve something both interesting and reactionary without sounding like a limping retread of old fads. Somehow Bear In Heaven colors in the lines of these crumpled, aging notes to sound like someone watching old campy 80s movies with David Lynch goggles. Their new LP I Love You, It's Cool changes the band's brooding electronic stew into something a bit more bright and bubbly, more influenced by Byrne and Bowie than the percussive noir of "You Do You" and other Beast Rest Forth Mouth cuts. It's no wonder nearly every under-the-radar band counts Bear In Heaven as one of their favorite acts to watch-- nobody seems to play with old conventions like this with such dazzling (and consistent) results.
Each track's structure and melodic contour could be reduced to 1983 radio bait, but Bear In Heaven coats everything in a Brooklyn-fuzz sheen that gives the whole affair a feeling of modernity. The band is great at penning melodies AND flexing their beat-muscle behind them, a rare combo for a so-called "Brooklyn art-band" (it's usually one or the other). You can accuse them of being ubiquitous with their sound (it's very cohesive if a little melty around the edges), and you can accuse them of reusing a specific synthetic wave over and over (sixteenth syncopation over legato holds), but the one thing you can't accuse them of being is boring. Each track sizzles from start to finish, even at the band's most non-inventive moments.
While "The Reflection Of You" shares a few sonic cues with the band's debut, many of the new songs sound extremely out there-- even by BIH standards. Extreme sonic mutilation on every track ensures there isn't a second of boring aural space, rather, synthetic noises fill every nook and cranny with beautiful, energetic sound that seems like sunlight seeping through the cracks of the band's resting points. The plethora of up-moments do somewhat detract from the LP's climactic moments (since EVERY moment is a climactic moment) but sometimes a gluttonous intake of beat-heavy tunes is just what the doctor ordered. I Love You, It's Cool is definitely more than your daily allotment of ear-calories, but it's well-worth the indulgence.