Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tracks of Their Tears 

Beautiful songs tell somber tales in the hands of Bears.

62332.0.jpeg
Think of Bears as something like a rudimentary weather machine. They fashion sunny nuggets of '60s psych-pop and breezy, jangling bursts of melody that disguise sometimes bittersweet sentiments. The recording duo of drummer Craig Ramsey and guitarist Charlie McArthur expands to a six-piece in concert, to recreate the rich texture and details of the band's self-titled debut.

At a recent Spot show on the Case Western Reserve campus, Ramsey and McArthur initially set out by themselves, each on an acoustic guitar. They ran through a pair of new songs, including "I Know You're Gone," whose urgent melody recalls the Wedding Present, with the classic pop undertones of the Rosebuds. The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" -- an appropriate musical touchstone -- played as the rest of the members took the stage. Over the course of their set, the sextet sampled from a variety of pop styles, including the acid-pop of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd ("Over It"), the sleepy swoon of the Velvet Underground ("Everywhere"), and the bounding folk of the Byrds ("Walk Away"). Keyboards and organ contributed heavily to the lush, irrepressible hooks.

The show was imbued with the feel of a college mixtape, full of longing and idealism destined for sorrow. The vibe was epitomized by the bustling melody of "When You're Away," whose anxious sketch of a breakup discussion is punctuated by the dumpee's lament, "It's harder when you're away." Sun-kissed, sad, and impossibly infectious, Bears' music rings with hope, even as you sense it won't come to a kind end.

McArthur sang on, intoning, "It doesn't matter what I choose or why." As the set ended, the final thick, swelling chords blanketed the room, providing welcome comfort amid the relentless wave of heartache.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Shorts

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 7, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation