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Non-Prog CD Reviews

She Bears

We Will Be Fossils

Review by Gary Hill

What an intriguing set this is. It’s cut from the alternative/college rock cloth. It’s not extremely earth shattering or original, but is quite good. This, like most of the music in the genre, is laced with influences from Radiohead, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen and more. What this lacks in originality, it easily makes up for with just plain “cool.”

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Sorry, Abby

The crunch on this tune is great. The whole sound is much like a college rock vibe. This is like Midnight Oil meets The Cure. It’s also great stuff.

This is a bit more tentative. It also has more of a stripped back, punk meets pop rock sound. It’s still energized and quite strong, though. The anthemic sections later are great. Some noise segues this into the next number.
Wet Shirt
Somehow this feels sort of in-between the first two songs, with a bit of Radiohead thrown into the mix. I like this one even better than those two numbers, though. I love some of the guitar sounds on this one. The contrast between the mellower and more rocking sections also really gets me. It should be mentioned that this song gets a parental advisory on the lyrics. This is one of the best songs here, “naughty words” or not. At over six and a half minutes in length, it’s also longest piece here. They make good use of the extra room, that’s for sure.
The Breaks
There is an anthemic pop rock sound to this one. Early on it’s got a dominant rhythmic section. The whole cut really works well. The guitar line that drives it is quite cool. The vocal arrangement is also noteworthy.
Tracks in the Snow
Melodic and yet noisy, too, this is another great alternative rocker. Again the balance between mellower and harder edged is strong. The vocal arrangement is a plus, as well.
Beach Fires
This powers in heavier than just about anything else here. That makes it even a bigger contrast when they drop it to a very mellow, almost jazzy section for the verse. The Cure is a valid reference point on this number. It’s one of the best here.
Fewer Cigarettes
New wave, hard rock and prog all seem to merge on this unique number. It’s another that has a great balance between harder edged and mellower sounds. Radiohead and The Cure are both well represented on this.

 We get a healthy dosage of punk rock in the mix on this one. That’s added to more of the same kind of college rock and anthemic vocals for an effective blending. This isn’t a real standout, but it’s quite good. It just falls a little behind because everything here is so strong. As one might guess, this song contains the album title.   

Paper Boats
Although there aren’t any big changes here, this is a strong tune. The vocal hooks and some of the guitar bits are what really sell the number.
Good Light/Late Night
Although this has one of the most complex song structures of the whole set, it somehow doesn’t work as well as some of the rest of the material here. That means it might not have been the best choice for closer. Still, I suppose the percussion dominated closing section itself works well enough to end the album.
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