It has been a long couple of days and I mean that in the best possible. I’ve been going hard at shows since Thursday and my surprise four-hour nap this afternoon is proof that, although amazing, it has been an insane couple of days. There is a show happening tonight that I am still debating going to but I need to get my motivation and energy back up so let’s check out Double Bear’s new album, ‘Sunday the Race’ and see if that does the trick!

“Sum of Our Parts” is the first track on this seven-track album. It instantly whisked me away from the stress of the fact that tomorrow is Monday and gave me a sense of calm that I so desperately needed. This opening track has an almost 90’s vibe to it but it doesn’t feel dated. Stunning instrumental parts come in and out including a gorgeous violin part right around the minute and a half mark that had my heart singing. Although a bit calmer than what I typically listen to, there’s a driving energy in this track that held my attention throughout all five minutes of this opening track. It was a mixture of the sense of calm and the intricacies heard throughout the track that kept me ears glued to the speakers and I loved every second of it.

A perfectly toned guitar kicks off “Silly Rabbits” and, like “Sum of Our Parts”, it instantly took me away from whatever was going on in my head. There’s almost a little bit of a southern twang in this track in both the instrumentation and the vocals that had me hooked but I wouldn’t call this a southern track. It’s a cool blend that seems to expand on some of the themes laid out in the opening track. I was so lost in this cool new vibe that I was a bit shook as the album moved onto the more subdued “Hippie Crippler”. Although a bit more slow-moving than the previous two songs, there’s no denying the track’s power and energy. Dazzling group vocals help make this track a stand-out on the album and a beautiful show of Double Bear’s talent and imagination. I found my heart falling for every emotionally drenched word and was a bit surprised as the track took a turn into the most beautiful chaotic moment I have ever heard. All of those emotionally drenched words seem to come to a breaking point as both vocals and instrumentation take a turn to the dark side. It brings a sonically interesting and captivating climax to this track and was one of many brilliant moments in this album that make Double Bear a stand-out band.

The calm beginning to “Your Little World” was the perfect contrast to the beautiful chaos that ended “Hippie Crippler”. Even though it was a great juxtaposition, there was something familiar about the slow-paced and emotionally drenched style of “Your Little World” that made it a perfect fit next to “Hippie Crippler”. Fuzzy and warped guitars add a little bit of sparkle to this track and really help make the vocals stand out in all of the right ways. This track is definitely a bit more tender than I tend to fall for but I knew by about halfway through that this was a favorite track of mine just due to the tenderness and overall vibe of the track.

Although the mood seems to shift with every song on ‘Sunday the Race’, there’s no denying that every track is from Double Bear and I love how the songs connect to each other in undeniable ways. “Streetlight in the Rain” brings back the almost southern twang heard in “Silly Rabbits” while bringing back a more rockin’ vibe in contrast to the tenderness felt in “Your Little World”. An intricate drum part is what caught my ear in this track and I feel like it just proved the creativity of Double Bear in all of the right ways. 

“Maple-Routh Connection” is the longest track on this album at just under eight minutes long but you honestly wouldn’t know if you weren’t looking at the time code like I was. Starting off with a beautiful and jazzy horn, this track continues to expand on Double Bear’s unique style and sound. I instantly fell head over heels for the more jazzy vibe of this track and it was something that I really wish I would have heard more of previously. That being said, Double Bear uses every second of this nearly eight-minute track in a perfect way. Ignoring standard song structure in a way, I loved how this track ebbed and flowed in an unexpected but truly beautiful way.

Closing out this brilliant work of art is “Short Stacks” and it’s the perfect closing track to a gorgeous album. Again, with that southern influence coming through loud and clear, this track brings the swagger that Double Bear does so well to the forefront as if daring you to forget about this band when the album finally fades out. Another lengthy track, I was surprised when I was left in silence and realized that “Short Stacks” had lasted another nearly eight minutes. When a band can get you so lost in their music that you don’t even realize how much time has passed, it’s a truly magical thing and Double Bear did it to me multiple times throughout this album.

My Favorite Track(s): “Your Little World”

For Fans Of: A hint of southern swagger; Power; 90’s influence

Mosh-ability: 4 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the floor next to my desk; Autumn slept upstairs on my bed

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 7.8 out of 10

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