FLAC / Lossless / cue/log
Label/Cat#:Communion Records / COMM148
Year: 22 july 2016
Everything about Bear s Den screams of quality craftsmanship: Ivor Novello nominations, tasteful guitar parts, references to Raymond Carver novels, big beards. But oh dear, the London duo s second album Red Earth & Pouring Rain really is dreary. It s all so serious and ponderous, from the narrator of Gabriel wondering who he is, where he is going and what it all means, to the reflections on everlasting love in Roses On a Breeze. Singer Andrew Davie relates his words in a way that suggests they re intense and personal but couched in characterless soft-rock reminiscent of Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac at
When Bear’s Den appeared a little over three years ago, it wasn’t just me who they made a lasting impression upon. Crafting a richly emotive brand of folk, the trio garnered fans on both sides of the Atlantic and even as far afield as Australia thanks to their traditionally rigorous approach to touring.
Such an approach does have its downsides. Lengthy time away from home, as well travelling in close proximity inevitably leads to relationships both in-band and out being pushed to their limits, something which arguably attributed to the amicable departure of founding member Joey Haynes early in the year.
Every cloud has a silver lining however, and while many thought Haynes’ departure would signal the end of Bear’s Den, what it really did, was act as a catalyst, allowing a whole new iteration of the band to emerge.
Where 2014’s Islands was very much a record rooted in nostalgia and memories, Red Earth & Pouring Rain takes it one step further and uses that basis as a jumping off point for something that feels much more encompassing. ‘A good metaphor for the mood is the idea of driving forwards while looking in the rear view mirror’ says multi-instrumentalist Kev Jones. He’s not wrong. Spend any amount of time with …Pouring Rain and it’s clear that while Bear’s Den are very much looking ahead to their future, they also acknowledge their past as an intrinsic part of the band.
1. Red Earth & Pouring Rain (04:52)
2. Emeralds (04:30)
3. Dew on the Vine (05:02)
4. Roses on a Breeze (05:21)
5. New Jerusalem (04:12)
6. Love Can’t Stand Alone (05:27)
7. Auld Wives (04:38)
8. Greenwoods Bethlehem (05:33)
9. Broken Parable (06:11)
10. Fortress (05:21)
11. Gabriel (04:04)
12. Napoleon (05:26)