"Slow Gold" by Bear In Heaven
The frequency of animal imagery in the naming of indie-rock bands has begun to translate into stylistic predictability. (Twee pop? Freak-folk? Introspective acoustic rock? Pick a winner!) But Bear In Heaven's debut album, Red Bloom Of The Boom, cuts through the mediocrity like a hot knife, firing out of left field with a powerful, functional mix of This Heat, '70s soft rock, early Genesis, and oddly, later Pink Floyd. (Think Animals through The Final Cut.) From a more modern perspective, songs like "Bag Of Bags," "Slow Gold," and "Fraternal Noon" point at Mercury Rev and Animal Collective (who also point at the previously listed influences) while maintaining a striking originality.