You Will Be Heard!

What kind of CD does three years of recording, mixing, re-recording and remixing produce? For Chico trio Bear Hunter, the resulting debut—You Will Be Heard!—is something close to a master class in the production of a progressive indie pop/rock album. This is one monster endeavor that brings all of the multi-instrumental/multi-tracking/multi-effect fun that can be had while messing around in a studio, and uses it to decorate and elevate an eclectic collection of pop and rock songs. This reviewer digs the ones that showcase vocal-melody work as much as the production work, because when frontman Maurice Spencer’s pipes are more focused on the finished hooks of tunes like “Action/Reaction” (your new favorite song) or “Basement 98,” Bear Hunter is at its song-making best. “Basement 98” is just beautiful—loping drums, crunchy guitar punches and the kind of lush vocals (with awesome falsetto: “baring your teeeeeeth …”) that would make dreamy popsters Death Cab for Cutie blush. This isn’t your typical local band with a home-burned CD-R. Buy it and brag to your friends about how Chico rules.