Once you become an ‘established’ blogger (i.e. get onto Hype Machine), you inevitably start receiving emails from PR companies, filled with hyperbolic praise and often untrue assertions as to what you’ll be hearing if you give them a listen. Inevitably, a lot of the PR becomes pretentious drivel and, on some blissful occasions, completely ridiculous to the point of hilarity. I recently received a copy of Bear In Heaven’s album Beast Rest Forth Mouth to review for This Is Fake DIY – I haven’t listened to it enough yet to form a proper critical opinion (although the signs aren’t great as yet) but if there’s one thing biasing my opinion toards the negative end of the spectrum, it’s the PR.
Here are some choice cuts:
‘Bear In Heaven have trapped echoes, tremors, winds and fading light. They’ve redefined time, and folded it. They’ve unbuttoned sound, and realigned it.’
‘As a four-headed organism, Bear In Heaven has now found a sonic stride unlike any in their history.’
‘Acknowledging the importance of the number four, the album Beast Rest Forth Mouth (think “East West North South”) was a conscious product of the 4 compass points, of the 4 makers, and of the inevitable confusion that manifests from that crossroad mentality: 4 directions that could lead you anywhere and everywhere.’
WHAT THE FUCK DOES ANY OF THAT MEAN? The entire press release steadfastly refuses to tell you anything concrete about the music on this album (surely a bad sign in itself) whilst managing to simultaneously make me furious and despair at the state of humanity all at the same time. It is without doubt some of the worst advertising I’ve ever seen – I already know that they’re a Brooklyn-based psychedelic band, I don’t need to be reminded that they’re a bunch of art school pricks who think more of their music than they should do. The icing on the cake is that Pitchfork have bought into it with incredible gusto, saying that the band have ‘figured out how to render bodily sensations’. Neither the PR nor the Pitchfork review attempt to couch any of this horseshit in simile or even metaphor, it’s all said with a seemingly matter-of-fact tone. I’m starting to wonder whether it’s all a big joke that us non-New Yorkers aren’t privy to. I am aware that music reviewers, with myself most defintiely included, can become a little silly over new bands and make insane sonic comparisons, but this is just taking it way too far – to the point where I just want to punch the fucking idiocy out of the PR guy who wrote it.
To calm down, let’s all listen to some straightforward rock ‘n’ roll and remember that not everyone is a complete douche. Yet.
PS. I think the guy on the left of the picture wrote the article.