Crisp, with crackling guitar, ‘Run My Mouth’ illustrates the indie-pop depth of Spirit of the Bear. Formed initially as a duo out of Youngstown, Ohio, this group draws parallels to Passion Pit with sprinklings of Imagine Dragons. It’s a refreshing lightweight sound that drives back to the ‘American Girl’ bones of rock and roll.
James Harker, cofounder and guitarist, recounts the ‘Forest’ EP when the band consisted of only one other, Danny Svenson. Svenson polished up Harker’s raw rifts. The two went on to produce a second album, collecting keyboardist, Ethan Schwendeman, and drummer, Jamie Vitullo, before adding a bassist, Mike Perorazio, in their most recent EP.
Complex instrumentals fuse together a process much matured since those early days in 2014. Now, a five piece group, bandmates hash out jams from the ground up. The lyrics noticeably grown up, and the difference presents itself quite boldly. Whereby the song ‘Bring Me Down,’ bolts the listener into up tempo collage of teen rock, the more refreshed tunes of ‘Fade into Blue” blur the abrupt spokes found prominently in older recordings. The sound fits together like a well-worn boot.
‘Fade into Blue,’ hits a definite sweet spot. Join Spirit of the Bear on Sunday, December 17th. For being a Youngstown based band (although many of its members are split in separate directions while attending college), Spirit of the Bear carries a big name here in North Penn, routinely drawing a small caravan of supporters. Be sure to join them on December 17th at the Underground for this all ages show. Find tickets online or at the door for $8.