Bear Colony Bear Colony

Who says you have to have some sort of new angle to your songs? The perfect example of songwriting that astounds due to a perfect grasp of melody is found in Band of Horses. They don’t feature a lot of fireworks, just great songs. While the Bear Colony collective (which features members of Ester Drang and Unwed Sailor) don’t hit the heights of Band of Horses, this debut is full of memorable songs that excel because they, literally, hit all the right notes. "Hymnal (A Declaration of Loss)” stands out due to its pining chorus, layered guitars, slight piano and shuffling drums. When the word "emergency” is drawn out by the slightly nasal sounding, yet emotional, lead singer, it definitely piques the interest. "Blips/Beeps” also impresses with its understated beauty, as the tension is built amongst the song’s many layers with impressive confidence. The key to this album is the enjoyable nature. Sure, it feels a bit like paint-by-numbers indie rock on some occasions but when the band click this is a fun and eminently repeatable journey. (Esperanza Plantation, www.esperanzaplantation.com) (Esperanza Plantation)