Bears of Winter – I.Machine
Neil’s Blog Entry
Southern-Fried-Industrial That’s Finger Lickin’ Good
I.Machine by Bears of Winter boldly defies genre. Yes, it is listed as “alternative.” Yes, there is an overall industrial/electronic style to the album with it’s ambient drones, dark, distorted vocals and deep synths and guitars. But with each track, we are introduced to an entirely different sub-genre, be it blues, grunge, R&B or southern fried rock to name a few. I know what you’re thinking and, yes, it is incredibly eclectic but it absolutely stands up as a whole piece beautifully. And I think that this makes it very original – sonically speaking.
The production is very confident – meaning that from a musical standpoint, nothing is missing or lacking. And nothing is overdone. The songwriting is so strong that one could imagine these songs holding up no matter what instrumentation or musical style is used to bring them to life. Andrew Morse’s vocals are fantastic. And I swear at times he’s practically channeling Kurt Cobain.
Standout tracks for me are “Sacred” (which I think is an incredibly beautiful song about loneliness), and “By the River” which brings to mind what kind of music Trent Reznor would make if he and Nirvana jammed with The Allman Brothers. Another standout is “Hey Hey Human” which builds and builds to an anthemic album closer. Oh yeah, and the guitars on “Metamorphosis II” are absolutely perfect, creating quite a beautifully dark and moody atmosphere.
I highly, highly recommend this album – even for those of you who are not particularly into electronic or industrial music. This is just really brilliant songwriting with such feeling and edge, yet there is an elegance only found in the best industrial music. We will be featuring the track “Sca[r]red but Free” on the June podcast, so be sure to tune in for that. Below are some links to fulfill all your Bears of Winter needs.
Buy hard copies directly from the band here:
Also available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.