Bearings "Blue in the Dark" Review
Photos by Kaitlyn Johnston from 10/05/18 show at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, IL & Review by Trevor Hancock
Blue in the Dark, the debut full-length record from Canadian pop-punk band Bearings, immediately establishes the band as one to watch. This release offers a diverse collection of emotion-filled songs that showcase the band’s ability to blend their influences into a sound that is uniquely their own, while still maintaining a sense of familiarity that will surely bring about new listeners and take the band’s popularity to new heights.
The album opens with “Where You Are,” an adrenaline rush to set the pace for what is a heavy-hitting record to follow, featuring roaring guitars and a huge, anthemic chorus that begs to be sang along with. The next track, the lead single from the record “Aforementioned,” is a standout of the record, demonstrating the band’s tasteful guitar work and ability to write hooks that stick in the listener’s head. This song showcases the band’s lyric writing, a major strength that carries through the entirety of the record. The lyrics touch on a number of topics, with nostalgia and reflection being major themes that carry throughout. “Aforementioned” is just one example of a song driven by nostalgia, detailing both the positives and negatives that one goes through when looking back on recent times and experiences. The chorus states “well my friend, it’s been quite a year, and I feel right now that I need you here,” a sentiment that shows nostalgia and longing for a loved one and presents it in such a way that is relatable, honest, and genuine.
The lyrical theme of reflection goes beyond just memories of a loved one but also explores self-reflection and self-improvement, a very important topic that is covered at length and especially relatable and resonant. Songs like “Hear Me Say” explore the idea of recognizing the wrongs and mistakes within oneself and working to correct them, with Doug singing “I can stay the same forever, or find the time to rearrange, all the constant inconsistency that finds room in me to breathe” showing that there is always room for improvement within oneself and that sometimes it takes exploration and realization to make those improvements and better oneself.
While the lyrics are without question a strong suit of the band, another is the diversity in the sounds that make up this album. Songs like “Where You Are” and “Goodbye (To All of Our Friends)” hit hard with walls of guitars and huge aggressive choruses, but Bearings prove through songs such as the title track “Blue in the Dark” that they can write a ballad with just as much power and emotion as their heavier and faster songs. Lyrics such as “bring me home, decompose, right here, forever” bring that theme of longing and missing of a loved one back, but with a much heavier, somber undertone. Stripping it back even further to bare bones acoustic guitar and vocals, “Tide” is another highlight of the record, with delicate guitars and gentle vocals that provide a nice contrast to the rest of the album’s dynamic.
Blue in the Dark is an incredible debut that boasts power, diversity, and relatability that create a finely tuned and cohesive album that caters to a wide array of listeners. There is something for everyone to enjoy here, and if this release is any indication of what is to come, Bearings will be a name that more people are sure to hear about soon.