The Wonderful Educated Bear
When we started Slender Music back in 1996, our idea was to create a site which
detailed/explored music we felt should be heard, should be recognized, should be
absorbed. Music which deserved press based solely on its merit as an art form; not
because it was released on some big money label or had suit and tie backing.
Heros Severum's first full length release, The Wonderful Educated Bear ( two sheds
records ), encapsulates the vision and purpose of Slender Music.
A song writing structure a kin to a meeting among Jawbox, The Dismemberment Plan,
Firehose and Slint, The Wonderful Educated Bear shimmers-shines-glows-burns brightly
with intelligent-intense orchestration and pensive well placed vocals. The album's choke
chain atmosphere allows for freedom of thought during sparse interludes then without
notice or warning tightens its grip during the complex-wall-of-sound convulsions.
Musically, the Athens, GA based trio provides plenty of ear candy constantly shifting melody lines,
rhythms and structure complemented by catchy vocal lines.
Sherryl Branch and Eric Friar's brilliant guitar parts provide the
guide through their dense maze of inspirational subject matter. Jeff Cummings'
drumming not only intricately adds to the song's orchestration, but provides more than
enough vertical motion for quality head bobbing.
Jay Robbins, of Government Issue, Jawbox and Burning Airlines fame, produced,
engineered and mixed The Wonderful Educated Bear, in addition to clapping his hands
and singing some back up vocals. So obviously the perfection which precedes Jay
surfaces on this sound recording. The guitars are both thick/full as well as
spacious/melodic and the drums sit perfectly in the middle of the mix painting their
If straight-forward-run-of-the-mill-production-line songs are your idea of pleasure then it
would mostly likely be in your best interest to skip The Wonderful Educated Bear.
However, if catchy-smart-driving-spacious-insightful music and lyrics tickle your sense
of style then please check Heros Severum out.
On a personal note, I almost don't want to finish writing this review because I don't want
to stop listening to this record. I just got a chill from the ending of Grounded Like a Prop
visit Heros Severum:
The Mechaniks of It
Grounded... Like a Prop Plane
Driving in a Perpetual Summer
Hidden in the Words
Out of Round
Colors - Paint and Body
Rail Against the Contraption
From Foot to Foot
Bear in the Circus
A Better Man
Written By: Geoff T.