Six weeks ago we got a taste of Minus The Bear’s first single off of their 4th LP Omni. That song, “My Time” (below), has quickly become one of my favorite songs of the year so I was both excited and nervous to hear the rest of the album. I’ve been sitting on it for a week now and can happily say that this is some good stuff. A lot less angular and jagged than 2005’sÂ Menos El Oso and more upbeat than 2007’sÂ Planet Of Ice, it’s the smoothest and most polished offering we’ve heard from these guys. Their quirky guitar noodling and odd beats are still their, they just aren’t the driving force anymore. Omni kicks things off right with “My Time” and while it’s solid until the finish it’s “Hold Me Down” that always catches my ear. It’s got thatÂ signatureÂ Minus The Bear guitar sparkle/crunch combo and you gotta love that churningÂ ‘I’m giving you up’ chant towards the end! “Secret Country” and “Animal Backwards” are two other standouts that you can luckily listen to right here as you stream the whole album below. Don’t forget to catch up on their other classics in the last TBE post!
Minus The Bear’s “Pachuca Sunrise” (below) is hands down one of my favorite songs of the last 10 years and so it’s no surprise that the band’s follow-up album left me underwhelmed. Expectations were high. True, the angular dance riffage of the fantasticÂ Menos el Oso had given way to a darker side on 2007’s aptly named Planet Of Ice but theirÂ signatureÂ sound was still loud and clear. You see, Minus The Bear are a band who are here to rock but you have to meet them halfway. Their beats are equal parts catchy and spastic as ripping guitars and pounding drumsÂ herk and jerk alongside Jake Snider’s smokey-smooth vocals. Anyway, I clearly have a dirty thing for Minus The Bear and you should too so get caught up with a few favorites below. I’ve already mentioned my passion for “Pachuca Sunrise” and if you have ever floated high on a cloud of love then you may feel the same way. “Absinthe Party…” is from their first LP â€“ and a time when they tended toward absurd(ly) long titles â€“ and was, until recently*, the best tale of touring Europe with a lover. Listening to it now it’s clear how much these guys have evolved and honed their sound. There is no better example then the recentlyÂ releasedÂ “My Time” from the forthcoming Omni. Fuzzed out bongos lead the way into a bouncey/bendey soundscape of classic MtB noises that are deftly held together with those unique vocals. The aural treats abound as “My Time” goes on to show that these guys are back and ready for good times. I’m liking this return to their more upbeat vibe and definitely looking forward to Omni.
â™« Minus The Bear – Pachuca Sunrise / Menos el Oso, 2005
â™« Minus The Bear – Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse / Highly Refined Pirates, 2002
*(Title now held byÂ Local Natives’ “Camera Talks”)