- Bears in the Yukon [US issue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bears in the Yukon [US issue] (2008)

The Mylene Sheath's Bears in the Yukon seemingly slipped by everyone when it was originally released in 2006/2007, but fair enough one guesses -- the album was only out in Japan, after all. Here the US gets a crack at listening.

The Seattle trio ride a line you didn't think was so fine between Explosions in the Sky's atmosphere and Don Caballero's jazzy math-rock playfulness. In turn, Bears in the Yukon is a compelling instrumental adventure, topping out at a cool 35 minutes, and that's including a remix of the album's interlude.

In "Can I Get More Steel in My Monitors?", the band create mini rising and falling patterns that give way to bending notes, and then a bridge where most of the instruments fall away and begin to crawl back and assemble itself over the next few minutes. "Monorails" won't exactly have you picturing Lyle Lanley dancing and singing in Town Hall, but it's a more somber mood for the band and sets up the brooding, more cacophonous soundscape of the very active title track well. Normally, "Bears in the Yukon" sounds like it'd have made for a very complete yet modest closer, though that aforementioned remix finishes it instead in a cool fashion, tampering with the original song just enough to make it a sensible addition.

Bears in the Yukon doesn't always fire on all cylinders, but it definitely flares up enough to spark some wonder and light. Forgive the band's annoying punctuation and give's debut a spin.

Oceanfloor Hijinks
Can I Get More Steel in My Monitors?