Time Is Over One Day Old
Reviewed by: Ari Roth
Bear In Heaven return with their fourth album, a hypnotic, droning record of towering psychedelia that feels like a natural extension of their past work, minus some of the pop touches that made previous albums, especially 2010’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth, so compelling. Instead, the band digs further into atmospherics with a slippery, floating record that billows with texture, even as it lacks the hooky melodic pull to fully center it.
The band supplements its traditional rock instrumentation with electronic touches and studio processing, and the album at times feels more like an environment in which to live, rather than a rock album with memorable choruses and singalong lyrics. There are some exceptions – closer “You Don’t Need The World” comes immediately to mind – but the album’s best moments are often its least conventional, such as the swirling, sky-high “They Dream”, with its dizzying wall of rushing, propulsive synths leading the track before it all comes to rest in a sparse, spacious haze. “Memory Heart” pushes forward on a bed of rolling toms and glazed vocals, opening up into a memorable refrain drowned in endless reverb.
The band’s secret weapon is its rhythm section, and drummer Jason Nazary’s creative, krautrock-influenced rhythms often carry the songs, avoiding traditional backbeat pulses while giving the tracks a physical, intuitive groove on which to soar. The synthesized elements work well with the guitar-bass-drums combo, melding seamlessly into a thickly textured stew. In some ways, the band reminds me of 90s experimental shoegaze act Seafeel in their fusion of rock and electronic instrumentation, and dynamics that have less to do with pop than with ambient music. Time Is Over One Day Old is certainly more conventional and perhaps less successful in that regard, but it is still gratifying to see bands that continue to refuse the binary distinction between those two worlds.
The drummer is Jason Nazary, Joe Stickney isn’t in the band anymore.