Have you ever listened to a band and wondered to yourself “How the fuck could anybody ever sleep on this?”. Yeah, that band is Bearings. Out now, the band’s debut album, Blue in the Dark is a masterpiece from a band that always promised to deliver something huge.
Fresh off the release of their stellar 2017 EP Nothing Here is Permanent, the Canadian four-piece are back with an album that is undoubtedly set to make an enormous number of album of the year lists. Bearings are Doug Cousins (vocals), Ryan Culligan (guitar/vocals), Collin Hanes (bass), and Conner Kington (drums).
Beginning with the album’s second single, “Where You Are” is an excellent introduction into Bearings. The instrumental work that prefaces the song is intriguing enough; doing just enough to drag listeners in before the opening vocals blow them away. For all its excellence, it almost becomes immediately evident that this album is going to blow the band’s back catalogue out of the water.
As the album continues through into lead single “Aforementioned” the intricacies and uniqueness of the Pure Noise Records product become more and more evident. For a genre that has been marred in the past as unoriginal and constantly derivative, Bearings are doing something incredibly fresh. From the distinctiveness of Cousins’ voice to the gentle melodies despite the song’s intensities, it is clear that Bearings have matured into one of the premiere talents in the pop-punk genre.
At times Blue in the Dark is fast-paced and dazing. From it’s very opening to gem tracks in “Stuck in a Doorframe” the four piece are no strangers to rocking out. On the other hand, the band aren’t scared to slow things down with tracks like “Blue in the Dark” and “Careless Clarity” fitting seamlessly in between the album’s more animated moments.
The highlight of the album comes with the track “Eyes Closed”. From funky bass riffs to beautiful melodies, the song just feels like the sonic embodiment of a smile. It channels joy and passion, while musically the vocal flow from Cousins is so incredibly infectious. Lyrically it is a conduit for those same emotions, a message of love and affection for someone that makes him “smile with my eyes closed”.
Lyrically the album seems to centralise around one person and the relationship that Cousins shares with them. The album’s title track seems to reveal that the ‘blue in the dark’ is a metaphor for the light that his significant other brings to the darkness in his own life. Like any relationship the album’s lyrics are tumultuous, sometimes heart-warming while occasionally self-depreciative and dark.
While fantastical lyrically, it is in their delivery that Cousins, and by extension the band, really excels. With a voice that is angelic the interplay between Cousins and Culligan only takes Blue in the Dark to the next level.
Blue in the Dark is a phenomenal record and it’s really as simple as that. Nothing feels like filler and the pacing and mood of the album is incredible. The transition from slow and sad to vivacious and colourful is so smooth, and lyrically it perfectly encompasses the rollercoaster that is a relationship. If you give this album the chance, it will blow you away.
Blue in the Dark is out now via Pure Noise Records, and available on all good streaming services. Australian fans can pick up a copy here: https://24hundred.net/collections/bearings
Literally everything, it excels in every single way. Lyrically, musically and thematically it is a perfect record.
Please reread the part where I said PERFECT RECORD