Review Summary: Building on a wonderful debut, Sleeping Bear illustrate that they are very much a band to keep an eye on.
Sleeping Bear is a post-rock outfit from Kiev, Ukraine. They released their debut self-titled full-length in 2014. While an under-the-radar release with a very limited audience, the reception it did attain was quite positive. The band followed this strong debut up with an EP, entitled Parinae.
Parinae is comprised of only three songs, all between six and eight minutes in length. The sound of the release is quite similar than that of the band’s debut, albeit perhaps marginally heavier. The music here still falls very much into the more Explosions In The Sky-influenced side of post-rock. Therefore, while uniqueness is not one of its strengths, Parinae’s quality compared to other releases within its chosen style is extremely impressive.
The three songs presented here all pursue a similar mood, and are generally relaxing. They are balanced in terms of emotional impact, avoiding being depressive while also not being overtly uplifting. The fact that none of the songs here are dramatically different from one another is the only significant complaint, besides the aforementioned level of similarity to other post-rock artists. Sleeping Bear executes the formula remarkably well, and each song on Parinae is exceptional within the genre. The opening track, “Callis”, starts off very soothing before progressing into numerous crescendos throughout a rollercoaster of a song. Next, “Machines” begins with a somewhat foreboding and solemn fashion before the driving melodies typical of the band begin to emerge. The closer, “Avalanche”, is certainly the heaviest track on Parinae, and perhaps also the best. While not deviating too much from the band’s tried-and-true, the soaring guitar lines of the song are simply riveting.
All in all, Parinae is not a departure in sound for Sleeping Bear in any substantial way. It is an important release, though, proving that the greatness of the band’s debut was no fluke. If Sleeping Bear’s next album is as excellent as their releases up to this point have suggested it will be, than the band will be well on its way to becoming one of the premier post-rock groups of our time.