‘Sirens’ foreshadows promising future for Bear Ghost

Rock band Bear Ghost debuted their new single “Sirens” across music streaming platforms Jan. 17.

Originating from Phoenix, Ariz., Bear Ghost is best known for their work producing Adventure Rock music.

This genre is defined by its use of storytelling, solo work and developing melodic tone to craft songs that tell of grand journeys and experiences.

Following the release of their previous single, “Haunt, the Cartoon Heart,” “Sirens” revisits Bear Ghost’s foray into fusing hard metal and glam metal to create a truly haunting melody.

Bear Ghost has always experimented with different musical styles, with a large number of songs taking inspiration from early 1950-1960s pop melodies and animation culture to deliver catchy, oddly bouncy and upbeat metal songs.

“Sirens” tells the tale of a soul ready for a night of carefree dancing and the forgetting of worries, only to be lured into the feeling of helplessness and dependence again by the “sirens” they encounter.

The single shares the strong points that “Haunt, the Cartoon Heart” and previous songs from Bear Ghost’s 2016 album “Blasterpiece” contain.

The vocals by Ryan Abel are exceptionally strong and bring his consistency of emotionally charged, enunciated lyrics back into the light.

The song starts off softly, with hushed vocals before building up to the point of narrative breakdown as the narrator encounters the “sirens.”

The “sirens” are never really described but create an attractive effect for the character.

The narrative portion of the song continues until over halfway through before transitioning in a chorus comprised largely of chilling, soft notes, where the protagonist falls into the lure of the siren song.

Following the first chorus, one of Bear Ghost’s infamous guitar solos takes over before the track falls silent for a second.

Interrupting the silence, the chorus vocals kick back in, only accompanied by the xylophone that was once underlying in the instrumental.

Slowly building up by introducing the other components of the instrumental, the chorus wraps up and ends the song on the narrator screaming the last words in desperation.

While “Sirens” is certainly one of Bear Ghost’s most well-crafted songs, the single still falls short in a few areas that seem to be a constant struggle for the band.

The most glaring issue is still the mixing between vocals and the instrumental.

In past songs, vocals were sometimes overpowered by instruments, making the lyrics almost indiscernible.

The mixing has certainly gotten better with this new single in terms of the lead vocals being clear, but when the call-and-response lyrics from the “sirens” are sung, they are still hard to hear.

Another issue is not entirely on the band, but rather a fault of the genre in general.

Adventure Rock quite frequently consists of drawn-out solos during part of the narrative.

However, with a solo in almost the exact position in the song as it was in “Haunt, the Cartoon Heart,” the two singles sound similar near the end before the chorus kicks in.

Despite the few drawbacks that the single has, “Sirens” overall shows a large growth in Bear Ghost’s quality.

It is unfortunate that it took such a long length of time between the releases of two singles, but with advertising for more tracks coming in 2020, Bear Ghost certainly has a promising year ahead of them.