Album Review: Bearcubbin’! “Girls with Fun Haircuts”

By Tyler Brown in A&E

“Girls with Fun Haircuts,” the new album by Bearcubbin’!, is set for release on March 1. The band will perform at South by Southwest in March.

It’s almost unbelievable how such outlandish and extraordinary sounds can still be so catchy. Within 30 minutes, I fell in love with Portland’s strangest sound.

This collection of seemingly random noises will not only catch you off guard, but also be the very thing you’ll fall in love with when listening to the band Bearcubbin’!

Their new album “Girls with Fun Haircuts,” set to release March 1, is like the creation of a drunken madman studying under a cracked out Mozart, but it’s this essence that creates the band’s insanely-beautiful sound.

Since their inception in 2009, Chris Scott and Mike Byrne have committed to defining Bearcubbin’!’s loop-oriented sound with jazzy, soulful expression and mathematical instrument work, displayed in their new album.

The band’s newest member, Patrick Dougherty, brings a new instrumentality to the bass that puts soul and groove musicians to shame. The solely instrumental band now has a center: a new voice without a voice.

Battles!!!, Steely Dan and These Arms Are Snakes provide a massive influence to the band’s sound. Coupled with a unique blend of grooves, the heavy dominating bass and drum provide the distinctive sound for which Bearcubbin’! is recognized.

The album opens with “Girls with Fun Haircuts,” and immediately you’re hooked like a fish caught in a lure; a bear caught in a trap. The strong hook and strange rhythm ignite to ensnare any unsuspecting listeners. Another popular song, “High School Field Trip to Murder Island,” set the pace for an underground classic you’ll want to hear again and again.

The album is like a soundtrack to a dream; a strange, crazy, colorful and scary dream. Just when you think it’s over,  “Carpet Needs a Drink Too” throws you into a downward spiral of rhythm that would make Jerry Garcia’s head turn.

In August 2009, Byrne became the official drummer for the popular rock group The Smashing Pumpkins. His drumming is presented in two albums: “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope” and “Oceania.” He was also voted the Best Up And Coming Drummer in 2011 by the Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll.

The band will be performing at the South by Southwest festival in March.

If you are interested in an unusual band that delivers unique time signatures and rhythm, along with all of what indie rockers and experimental rock fans love, then Bearcubbin’! is the band for you.

The recommended songs for the album are: “Carpet Needs a Drink Too,” “High School Field Trip to Murder Island” and “Master Cylinder.”

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