Just to give you an idea of the type of band Bear In Heaven is, its current tour involves a homemade light/effects machine, made from scratch with friends and carrying various risks of explosions and/or awesomeness. More recently, the Brooklyn band put its new record, I Love You, It’s Cool, up for stream on its website—that is, a version slowed down to all oblivion, in which four-on-the-floor beats became completely denature into ambient swirls. Bear In Heaven wants you to dance, but the band doesn’t go about that mission in the conventional sense, as is proven with I Love You, It’s Cool, a dizzying doozy of a dance album that is as challenging as it is catchy.
Let’s start with the catchy. The real keeper on this record is “Reflection Of You,” a glittering piece of new wave that is dominated by an anxious, skittering synth riff. The song’s chorus is so simple—”Here I am/ There you are”—but the instrumentation adds gravity to the whole thing, capturing that magical moment of locking eyes in a crowded club in the same way that M83’s “Midnight City” did last year. “Sinful Nature” also strikes that sweet spot between familiarity and theatrics, setting an angry, angular riff up against bongos, feedback and stuttering drums. These are but two highlights of a record that rarely stops to catch its breath amid a never-ending onslaught of hooks, each one stronger than the last.
Everyone gets tired, though, and I Love You, It’s Cool can get a little off-balance when it tackles the slower songs. Tracks like “Noon Moon” and closer “Sweetness And Sickness” lack the big choruses of the other tracks and feel a bit derivative as a result. But there are enough outside influences here—kraut, new wave, post-punk—that the album, for the most part, manages to mark itself as a smart, sleek dance record.