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Mellowdrone
Angry Bear
Columbia Records
www.mellowdrone.com


How do you follow up a nearly perfect album that's been marinating in various music libraries for three years? Well, if you're the psychedelic rock band known as Mellowdrone, you produce a finely tuned sophomore record. After trying out the music scene for roughly seven years with a handful of EP's, the band finally got their musical signature figured out with their first full length, Box. The album, while not widely popular in the public view, still had multiple successful numbers. Songs such as "Oh My," "Fashionably Uninvited" and "Beautiful Day" were featured in various games and a few movies.

Three years later and the trio has finally hit the studio again, this time to produce their album Angry Bear. And as their previous record demonstrated, there really isn't any rhyme or reason to their music. "Elephant" is easily another example. From the strong bass-rock rhythms taking over the intro, to the melodic and addictively poppy chorus, there's no commonality through the song, yet it's perfection. When you get down to "Big Winner" you're met with this rhythmic beat that's the pure definition of "grooving." A definition that would include the light taps of a cymbal, a few gentle bass notes and even an electronic "squish" (or at least that's what I would call it). Now when this power-burst chorus comes in with its percussion insanity and huge choir presence, it's nearly frightening. But that's mostly because you're never prepared for it, as you've been nicely immersed in the gentle groove's sway.

If a song title can be sexy, then "Lady In Her Underwear" would fit in that category. The song itself is fairly simple. For the majority, there's just a mixture of airy keys and basic percussion set with a light hint of vocals. Eventually a guitar does make itself known, but not for more than a mere chord or two. And once the vocals calm back down, our stringed instrument goes back into hiding.

Mellowdrone has done their musical career correctly, by giving everyone little tastes over the years and then come out with a beauty like Box. Now they've gotten to the sophomore level and thus have to start to prove their worth to their fans. With Angry Bear it's easy to say that they have no risk of losing support any time soon.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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