The new Grizzly Bear album, Veckatimest, leaked last night. Unexpected, sure. First link was a prank. By then, the real thing had already hit the message boards. It was Grizzly Bear’s night. Even then people complained. Wha? Only 128 kbps? Indie Beggars are assholes. Showed me at least that Grizzly Bear knew about sound and marketing. People expect big things and big sounds from them; they don’t want to listen to Orchestrated Pop with no 128 kbps. The band tweets and blogs. Every nerd had to file a blog post on the album art being released, the tracklist being finalized, the album going up for a vinyl pre-order on Insound. So when it leaked last night, I guess people wanted more, more, more.
But fuck it. Here’s a first take at 128.
The album is way more aggressive than Yellow House. It’s a glass house occasionally rattling with reverb-ed guitars (the band sounds like they invented reverb), the Beatles White Album, Nick Drake (his rhythms and orchestration only), and what you wished the Flaming Lips would sound like if they didn’t love big beats and salad dressing commercials. The album is just dramatic enough. “Fine for Now” actually rocks. At the mid-point of “Southern Point,” the drums go all in. “Two Weeks” is simple enough to memorize within three listens. “Cheerleader” is the most haunted pop song you’ll hear all year unless you listen to “Dory” first. “Ready, Able” then kinda tops it. And, well, “I Live With You” can be called beautiful.