Sunbears!/MRENC – album review

by Jeremy Gould
Jacksonville’s Sunbears! have shown they have the production chops to impress with the two EPs that they’ve released. The time has finally come for the Flaming Lips apostles to undergo the right of passage split 7″ endeavor. They paired their two new tracks, ‘Mind’s Trapped In Static’ and ‘His Little Head,’ with MRENC’s (Eric Collins of Lakeland, FL and known for the Dark Romantics, Denison Marrs and Starflyer 59) ‘La La La La’ and ‘Oh Oh Oh Oh.’ New Granada has released this limited edition split to the small tune of 500 copies, so get ’em while they’re hot!
‘Mind’s Trapped in Static’ sees the Sunbears! honing their big sound, not simply relying on synthesized layers, but speaking to fans and the unwashed alike through ever expanding composition. A chorus of vocals ala Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, permeate the melody and lay the foundation of this track that is great in its own right, but functions even more as the setup for ‘His Little Head.’ The second track continues the high-ranged chorus that ushers you into the comfort of Jonathan Berlin’s familiar timbre. These songs follow the road map that always serves as a tight rope walk between psychedelic bliss and blaring Hosanna in the Highest from the pew. Jeremy Griffith (Moments In Grace) and TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion) saw to it that the production and mixing were second-to-none.
The MRENC tracks will delight pop rock and indie snobs alike with frantic guitar sounds, a small dose of eerie keyboard and catchy vocals. If the Strokes and Apples In Stereo had a fight, this would be the post dust-up forgiving embrace. Fans of the Killers, the Bravery and of course the Flaming Lips and Muse will enjoy, but remember, it’s a limited release, so don’t expect to buy 501 of 500.