Grizzlybearunderwear – The Carpet of Life or Songs About Dreams and Death

The Carpet of Life or Songs About Dreams and Death

On their second album, the electronic artists from Portugal and Germany who record under the moniker Grizzlybearunderwear offer us an album that keeps, at times, the dark tone of their debut album but contrasts it with more song-based works. While the band still uses heavy doses of electronic elements, the songs flow beautifully, enriched by sampled sounds and layers of guitars and beats.
The best feature of their first album – the use of gorgeous female vocals – is brought back here to a greater degree. Though they at times sound almost gothic, the music itself isn’t gothic in nature. Rather, it’s more of a post-apocalyptical nature, giving glimpses of a dark world through the harsh technology and layered samples. There are also more recorded samples on the album, which often keep with the darker tone.
The opening track is a chilling work, filled with oppressive chimes and the sound of metal clanking in the distance, but it leads nicely into the album. The repeated vocals, “not of this world,” on “Stereocilia” are fitting, as the song does sound otherworldly. The female vocals are almost gothic and echoed nicely, and the sampled sounds greatly add to the song. On “Purify My Love,” the vocals are gorgeous, almost ethereal. “I Am the Dagger of Your Mind” and “The Lorelei Signal” feel almost poppy, with a catchy tempo and engaging vocals. The album finishes with the sweetly sung “Here I stand with a guitar in my hand / nothing left to sing about and so much time to spend,” and it’s a fitting close to the album.
The techno-nature of “Should We Chase these young Outlaws, Cowboys?” is a nice change-up. The faster beats and greater use of guitars and samples help change the pace and keep the mood from getting too dark and brooding. A warbling, bending beat accompanies the brilliant instrumental “The Extraction of the Stone of Madness,” a songtitle that fits the tune perfectly.
Grizzlybearunderwear have this great logo, a graphic of a smiling little bear in underwear holding a flag that says “Surrender!” It’s a fun little contrast for the darker tone of the band’s music, and it does show their more playful side, which can be heard in the use of some unique samples, including one rather disturbing one about shoe sniffing. Less dark and more advanced than their debut, this is a startlingly good album, filled with haunting melodies and up-tempo electronic beats, all awash in samples and guitars layers. Nice job.