Mostly Bears

The Ed Mitchell Clinic

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Full of verve and with chops to burn, Mostly Bears start this record off with strong track "The Digital Divide" that sounds a bit like a non-acoustic, amped-up version of Arcade Fire with vocalist Brian Lopez sounding a bit like Win Butler. The group settles the proceedings down a bit with the tight, melodic, rootsy ditty "Leda Atomica" that has an organ used to great effect. But at times Mostly Bears seem to lose the plot somewhat, as is the case with the rather light but aimless "Airports," an apt title considering the song's direction is in question early on. Fortunately, that effort is the album's aberration as "The Pharmacist" is a great, dark, slow-burning kind of song that lures you in instantly along the lines of "The National"-meets-the Mars Volta and is well worth the seven-minute adventure. The same applies for the haunting, eerie, funereal "Eclipse the World (Oh, My Brain)," which resembles some collaboration between Antony and Devendra Banhart. Perhaps the highlight of the record is the powerful and very promising "Melancholyism," which contains the brawn of Muse but the intricacies and nuances of the Dears. Another keeper has to be the equally hypnotic groove oozing from "Your Smile Decorates the Afternoon," which is bound to put a smile on the face of most listeners.

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