By Brian P. Rubin
Indie rock quartet Bear made their way to Cedar-Riverside on Wednesday night to appear on “Live From Studio Five!” The foursome played a great set filled with melodious tunes, solid and sophisticated rhythms, and an overall great vibe. Bear was joined, as ever, by Doug the Thug, Dewglass, and Cher Dial.
All four members hail from Eberly, MN, and Mike Behrends led the band on lead vocals and guitar, while Jon Klocek, Jordan Skophammer, and Matt Wulff rounded out the group on guitar/keys, bass, and drums, respectively. The band channeled elements of groups like Sebadoh and the Mountain Goats, particularly with Behrends’ singing style that was reminiscent of that of Goats’ front man John Darnielle. They played songs like “Texas Romance,” “Palms,” “Tuning,” “Wolf,” and “Trapp.”
Cher Dial asked the group about the inspirations for their songs, and Behrends explained how he conceived of a whole fictional town based on an art show he attended in Northeast Minneapolis. Because of this inspiration for the songs’ subject matter, Bear’s songs are a lot more focused.
“If they’re not rooted somewhere,” he explained, “it can sound more like a compilation of songs on a record rather than a collection of songs.”
Bear has a 7-inch vinyl record called Out-of-Doors for sale, and they’re working on a new record at the moment. The band also has a gig scheduled for March 4 at the Kitty Cat Klub along with the band Broken Bicycles. To keep up with all the band’s business, as well as to listen to and buy a copy of Out-of-Doors, head over to their website. Based on their performance on “Live From Studio Five!” don’t be surprised to hear about more big things from Bear.