Boston's Bear Salon is like three bands in one, featuring a mighty three (!!) guitarists who all take turns on lead guitar and vocals. Each band member fronts the tune they wrote. This makes for a wide stylistic range - from plastic funk, to choppy glam, to nearly rock steady/reggae.
Things start off with "Itchy" the most beautiful moment of EP, while simultaneously evoking the feeling of nervous expectation and excitement that comes from really, really wanting something. Starstruck guitar arpeggios drift like dust motes in the late afternoon sun, while Police-like plasticine vocals tell a tale of longing.
"What Goes Up" is a Strokes-ian glammy jammer, featuring staccato cheese grate guitars and garage-y yowls but still somehow manages to be mellow and soothing. This is perfect dance floor hedonistic abandon - white lights reflecting on closed eyelids as you lose yourself. Bear Salon will make you sweat, while massaging your temples simultaneously.
"Carried Away" isn't as much of a departure, sticking to the chiming psychedelic indie guitar rock format. "Carried Away" is a lazy, swaying slack-line burner, strongly reminiscent of Pavement's "Range Life." This kind of mellow hazy jangle is perfect for the late summer, when the sun seems to move like molasses and honey through tall-grass fields.
This hypothetical field is a decent simulacrum for Bear Salon's music. Your mind feels peaceful while your body is in a state of excitation, bordering on discomfort. Beads of sweat sting your forehead, while imperceptible insects nick you arbitrarily. The nervous jitters make the sweet all that much sweeter.
Bear Salon shows us there is more than one way to be funky. There's more to life than Amen breaks and "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag." Bear Salon's funkiness is more agitated, twitchier, while still managing to be mellow and groovy. They take you up and down, simultaneously. It's quite a ride.
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