There is a fog rolling in out of Ashland, Oregon. Nic Mcnamara and Black Bears Fire bring a dreary yet inspiring early morning sound to their writing and recording. All songs are served with a dollop of The Shins and Elefant – think indie but folk heavy. It’s a sound from ten years ago but it’s nostalgically pleasing to hear. This genre never cared for the norm, so it really doesn’t matter when or how it is reintroduced. Black Bears Fire's primary focus is lyrically driven songwriting and their live show is said to be one hell of an experience.
On their EP Start sleeping in, “Cold Shotgun Blues” has cool tones and gentle guitar with simple structure and yearning vocals reminiscent of Oasis or Green Day. Perfect for that guy under the tree who just got his confidence up to bust out the acoustic publicly.
Get ready to tap your toes because “Rainbow of Chemicals” is straight out of Dodge County and has a hillbilly pulse you can’t resist. Did I mention the whistle hook? And how it gets a little wild at the end? This is the track that ignites for this album. Promising work for a band on the brink.
“Half Life” is an upbeat bopper of a track that gets almost on the verge of distortion. The vocals have a Fastball quality to them, unique upper with a semi-monotone bottom. This all is a selling point for off hand delivery that goes so well with this style of music. Take yourself seriously but just don’t show it. We have a lot of usual suspects in this one, noodling guitar solos, stay-in-the-lines 2, 4 on the drums, and boxed in bass. No complaints, just know you get what you expect from Black Bears Fire.
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