The Bears

Rise and Shine

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The guitar experimentation of Adrian Belew and Rob Fetters is top-notch on this record, but the material itself is not. Belew and his backing group of Cincinnati, Ohio-based musicians tend to sound like many other bands. On the first track, "Aches and Pains," the Bears literally break out all the bells and whistles, as those items are incorporated into what seems to be a second-rate Squeeze song. Belew and Fetters do manage to polish up some of the rough spots, however, on songs like "Robobo's Beef," which transforms a distorted electric guitar into what sounds like an electric violin helmed by Jean-Luc Ponty's evil twin brother. The album doesn't lack diversity, as heard on tracks ranging from lullabyes ("Little Blue River") to fusion worldbeat ("Rabbit Manor"), but it does lack fully developed writing. The record is a mixed palette with bits of music that could have made up a beautiful canvas if they were carefully thought out.

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