Just three years ago, in 2014, a group of friends in a music industry program decided to pool together and start something that would not only see them making great music in their first two EPs, but would have them coming out with one of the most driven albums of 2017.
Bearings released Nothing Here is Permanent on the 8th of September to huge amounts of support from both their fans and press, with their single ‘North Hansen’ receiving a feature in Alternative Press' roundup of the 10 best new songs of the week. The band are currently gearing up for tour, and with the success they’ve had in the industry so far showing no signs of stopping, they aren’t going to hit the brakes any time soon.
The band’s first EP, Higher Ground had tones reminiscent of the golden age of punk and the titans of the scene, with sounds similar to that of Sum 41, Blink 182, and Descendents. While they haven’t lost touch with the roots of their music - that energy, the broken hearts and bloody knuckles of the genre - their sound has certainly undergone a transformation from their debut release. It should be no surprise their latest album has such a crisp and energising feel to it, what with the band having taken to mixing indie and modern rock elements into their tracks. It’s something almost unique, and definitely welcome.
‘Petrichor’, the first track on the album, especially demonstrates the change the band has gone through. They’ve moved on from the thematics of the classic punk-era; getting the girl, making a mark, wanting to be someone who’ll be remembered. In ‘Petrichor’, the lyrics mourn the passing of time and having to move on, trying to make the memories last. It grapples with the fact that, eventually, all things end, and the narrator tries to come to terms with the past, with the soft scent of the earth after rain; fighting for each good moment in the future. Though the lyrics are mournful, they hold a certain sense of strength which is reinforced by the change in tempo and key of the guitar and bass. As the first track it perfectly captures the feeling of the album, a melancholic look at life, love, and loss with a message of understanding underpinning it all.
Through the melancholy of the album, it’s obvious that ‘North Hansen’ and ‘Letters Home’ both highlight the band’s talent and hard work in the best way. While ‘Letters home has absolutely captivating drum and bass tracks from Connor Kington and Collin Hanes respectively, ‘North Hansen’ features not only Ryan Culligan and Tyler Nickel playing at their best, but also has Ryan and Doug Cousins offering up the most gripping vocals on the album, not to mention Connor and Collin’s talent stitching it all together.
That said, there isn’t a massive amount of variety to the album due to the similarity of the themes across each track. While Nothing Here is Permanent as a whole is solid and wholly compelling, it lacks that je ne sais quoi which completes any punk album. It’s driven, yes; you can tell that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into making it. Ultimately, it leaves something to be desired - that little bit of bounce in any collection of tracks from a punk band that makes you want to dance around your room and sing along to it without stopping.
With all said and done, Nothing Here is Permanent is a quality record from a brilliant band who are definitely going to be going places in the future. The album may not be perfect but it’s definitely well put together, and with the amount of talent and hard work behind it, Bearings may well be breaching the surface of the punk rock scene very soon. This puts them very high on the list of bands to keep an eye and an ear on, if not at the top of it.