Tipped as “ones to watch” by fellow Canadians Seaway, Ottawa quintet Bearings look to back up that support with ‘Nothing Here Is Permanent’. However, don’t expect them to be a simple replica of Seaway. Where they bring a frat-boy attitude to the party, Bearings are in the back room being all sentimental.
The five songs on here tread a constant thread of lyrical grief. “There are two dates under your name, And life’s the dash that’s in between,” sings Doug Cousins on opening track ‘Petrichor’, as he tries to savour the good times before it’s too late. While thoughtful, his band mates offer a juxtaposition in their sound; a standard pop-punk template with mid-tempo verses giving way to a driving, hook-y chorus. It’s a steady but ineffective starter.
Next ‘Spent’ sweeps yet sees the five-piece structurally take a different approach. Stops and starts add exclamation points to Doug Cousins emotive words. ‘Letters Home’ carries itself with urgency, while back-and-forth vocals from Cousins and guitarist Ryan Culligan adding a different dynamic to the band’s arsenal.
Lead off single, ‘North Hansen’ hones in on the mournful tone as Cousins’ struggles to let go of someone who has passed away; “I still, think about you every single day”. It’s one of the most sincere moments on the EP, and stylistically fills the void left over by Transit. ‘Makeshift’ rounds things off on an angst-filled note. While it’s a punchy affair, it simply sounds like a dozen current pop-punk bands. It’s a disappointing final impression.
Without a doubt, Bearings show sincerity and authenticity on ‘Nothing…’, yet it takes a few repeated plays to unravel it. On the surface, they come off as a run-of-the-mill pop-punk band with heartfelt songs and catchy choruses. Nevertheless, for a label debut, Bearings have laid down a promising foundation to build on, and are sure to find a following in the crowded scene they’re part of.
‘Nothing Here Is Permanent’ EP by Bearings is out now on Pure Noise Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)