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coverpic flag Netherlands - Full Moon 231 - 07/02/15

Lost Bear
Monkey Pop
Tiny Room Records

Monkey Pop was released two days prior to the full moon of early June. We had a close encounter with the opening track "A Short History Of Chrome" in our June menu and here comes the rest. The album includes 11 tracks in all. The label 'dark, groovy, hypnotic, indie rock with hints at psychedelia, lo-fi and krautrock' still stands firm. The tracks are mainly repetitive with one melody theme throughout. Not many ordinary verse-chorus-structures in sight. Not all the tracks works the hypnotic and groovy way for me, because they lack some dynamics, a push forward. But when it works, it's really good. Sometimes the music gives short and slight reverberations of Syd Barrett's solo work. It must have something to do with the hints at psychedelia. Some of the moods and drum patterns reminds me of Echo & The Bunnymen in their early days, particularly the haunting "Crop Circle Death Trap". Some of the guitar sounds make me want to see the old Hal Hartley low budget films from the early 1990s again, especially the somewhat sad "Quasimodo On Steroids" and more uplifting "City Metropolis Destiny Planning". Great! Other favourites include the moody and melancholic "Molding People Enterprise" and the ditto title track. The latter even has a slight Michael Stype (R.E.M.) vocal touch. There's also the ominous and haunting "Slaughterhouse Pancakes" and the harmonica, guitar and drums mayhem of "Friday Night Live Music". Hilarious! All of these tracks works better than last moonth's "A Short History Of Chrome", I think.

Lost Bear uses distortion and other sound effects extensively. The songs were recorded in a very simple way, on a four track cassette recorder, but the lo-fi factor is not that importunate. The album was released as a very limited cassette release (35 copies!) with downloadable possibilities included. For the rest of us the album can be streamed or downloaded. This means Lost Bear is part of the contemporary DIY movement, much in the same way as the bands featured on the Insane 80s [EV01>EV10] compilation also featured in this menu. There are no rhythm boxes in sight, only real drums, and the guitars dominate as much as the synths did in the 1980s. But the urge to experiment with sound and create exciting music with relatively simple means is still the same.

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You may also want to check out our Lost Bear articles/reviews: A Short History Of Crome, Inside The Dragon.

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