At some point in the mid-90s, following the break-up of The Provos, bassist Billy Reynolds and drummer Brian Pauley were joined by Andy Masker (formerly of Buddhashrooms) to form Dirt Bear. Ironically starting out as a joke band, but growing into one of the most popular bands in the Charleston region, it is the sense of humor that exists in the band's songwriting and lyrics that lends to the appeal of the music. As described by blog quote contributor, Dirt Bear sounds like "The Jesus Lizard plays Pee Wee's Playhouse."
Each song on 1996's Bear It All, is a poetically unbalanced stop-and-go ride that combines the melodic sensibilities of The Flaming Lips with calculated outbursts of noise reminiscent of Butthole Surfers into punk-pop chaos. Recorded at The Cave by the era's finest producer Scott Robinson, Bear It All is like a kid with ADD whose Ritalin wears off every 15 seconds - bouncing off the walls with rambunctious guitar riffs, a lot of cymbals and snare, and half-sensed but clever lyrics from a Johnny Rotten-esque voice. "I can't sing a lick, I'm one sorry punk," chants Billy (or Andy?) in the chorus of "Sykodelic."
Not long after the release of Bear It All, Billy went to dental school, and Dirt Bear called it quits with only Brian moving on to any serious projects (Shindig, Malicious Intent - and professional wrestling). Now well over a decade old, this record has proven to be timeless and effective - even if only measure by its influence on the state's music scene. "There's my fucking teens all in one record," says Aaron Crothers of The Emergency. Beginning to end, it is still one of the best records to come from a West Virginia band. This comes highly recommended.
Artist: Dirt Bear.
Album: Beart It All.
For fans of: The Jesus Lizard, Butthole Surfers, The Flaming Lips.
DOWNLOAD: Dirt Bear - Bear It All