Artist: Amerikan Bear
Release Date: 2014
Disclaimer: Amerikan Bear is one of my favorite San Diego bands.
Is it because they put on a spectacular live show, sucking people into psychedelic hypnosis so far that they forget where they are, what day it is, what year it is, and even their own names? Is it because their songs can transport people back to a mythical, magical time when rock & roll was new and pure and born in a garage? Perhaps it could be these things.
But after hearing their first self-titled EP, recorded and shiny and put on Spotify, I think the real reason is because they are so damn consistent. Consistently good. The album’s first track “It Ain’t Free” is one I can remember distinctly from their live shows, as the catchy “ohhhhhhh oh oh oh ohhhhh” chanting gets easily stuck in the heads of everyone in sight. And what’s amazing is that the energy and grittiness of the live shows is transferred and completely apparent on this EP.
Lead singer Nathan Wettstead’s scorching vocals, enter and exit in staccato jabs, paired with long howling ohhhh’s and owwww’s on the EP’s six songs, while the heavy, rhythmic guitars and steady, tribal drums keep the tempo train a-movin;
With most songs clock in at over 4 minutes, you’d think things would start to drag, but the jam-sesh style keeps listeners wanting longer time to get lost. And at only 6 songs deep, Amerikan Bear is one you’ll want to put on your record player and let that baby keep spinning.
The San Diego natives got asked to play this year’s Psych Fest in Austin, TX, which is no small accomplishment. Look for big things to come from these groovy dudes and make sure you catch their next (and last for a while) San Diego show Wednesday Feb 25th at the Saloon in Encinitas.