Bear's Den - Red Earth and Pouring Rain

BANDS and artists often have a moment or two on their albums where things get a bit more serious.

They take a break from the usual upbeat pop formula to sing of heartache, loss, grief or regret.

But with Bear's Den's second album, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, every song is like that.

This sombre collection of tracks sees the London band taking themselves far too seriously with pretentious song names like Dew on the Vine and Roses on a Breeze.

Frontman Andrew Davie seems on the brink of depression with his gloomy delivery, never brightening up for any of the 12 songs while his flat singing style often coming across as a drone.

Musically, Bear's Den, who were Viola Beach's label mates on Communion Records, have concocted a gloomy cocktail of 80s-style rock, folk pop and electronic music but it does not quite work.

There are just too many influences in there.

Recorded at Rockfield Studios, where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody, producer Ian Grimble does a grand job of building up the atmosphere in the songs.

This is put to best effect on the brooding song, Fortress, but overall the record feels dense and inaccessible.

- Bear's Den release Red Earth and Pouring Rain tomorrow, Friday. The band perform at Albert Hall in Manchester