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Atlanta Music Examiner Presents: Georgia Local Band of the Week – Gold-Bears

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Welcome to the inaugural Georgia Local Band of the Week. Each week I will be highlighting a Georgia band, singer, songwriter, composer, etc – old or new – giving my take on their music, offering up some news, letting you know if they have a live show in town and maybe reviewing an album if they have something new out. Tune in each week to see who it is. So enjoy the first installment of the Georgia Local Band of the Week.

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There is something about well written songs, catchy pop melodies and jangly guitars that never gets old, if it is done right, fortunately Atlanta’s Gold-Bears do it right. Jeremy Underwood assembled the Gold-Bears in 2010 once his band Plastic Mastery called it quits and has been dishing out pop infused guitar rock ever since. Enlisting a variety of friends through the years many folks have contributed to Gold-Bears recordings in one way or another but at the heart of their sound has always been Underwood.

With one full length album and multiple 7” records under their belt 2014 sees the release of new material. The Gold-Bears recently released their sophomore record Dalliance on Slumberland Records. The 11 track offering is dominated by loud fuzzy guitars that steal from classic punk bands which are complimented by melodic vocals and pop undertones. The Gold-Bears have found the line between noise and music and walk it dangerously. Songs like “Punk Song No. 15” and “Death With Drums” demonstrate how loud and rowdy they can get as Underwood and crew play at maximum velocity cranking it up loud. Oh but wait, because the Gold-Bears are not defined by their noise, on “I Hope They’re Right” it is mellow tones and the vocal harmonies between Underwood and Madeline that carry this haunting tune. Do not pigeon hole this band into one category because thy have a lot of cards up their sleeve.

Underneath all the ear twitching fuzz and charming pop melodies lies the heart of Dalliance, a brooding look into life, love and loss. Facing a rough patch of life Underwood took his personal discord and poured it into this batch of songs. The upbeat “Yeah, Tonight” is anything but as Underwood and Emma Kupa sing about the uncertainties of what the night/life brings. Pam Berry joins in on “From Tallahassee to Gainesville” as they sing about the realization a relationship may not be working out. Some of the best lyrics find their way on this track. Whether it is the angst in “Chest”, the bitterness of “Fathers and Daughters” or the anger in “For You” the songs on this album are wrought with emotion as Underwood truly writes from the heart.

Dalliance is loaded with some of the best rock tunes to emerge from the young lifespan of Gold-Bears. It blisters the ears demanding to be cranked loud, it offers pop melodies that get stuck in your brain and delivers incredible guitar riffs that all disguise the true intention of the songs. This juxtaposition is a key component in this album. Dalliance is a record to ingest slowly, taking in every morsel. The more you expose yourself to the songs, the more you will enjoy them.

If you have not partaken in any of the Gold-Bears music I suggest you do. Start with Dalliance and work your way back through their catalog. Enjoy the fuzz drenched tunes as they wear their influences on their sleeve. You can find out more about the band through their website gold-bears.com or on their Facebook page. You can get hard copies and/or downloads of their music at all your local record stores, online retailers or at their live shows. Go give them a listen, you can thank me later.

(If you would like to be considered for Georgia Local Band of the Week please contact me at galocalmusic@gmail.com )

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