Album Review: Minus The Bear - 'Infinity Overhead'

24 August 2012 | 11:54 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Solid and unpredictable.

More Minus The Bear More Minus The Bear

Minus The Bear have been an adventurous band from the word go. This can be both a good and a bad thing for the band themselves. However, challenging your fan base will always wield inconsistent results.

For those who like to be surprised by their music, MTB are the type of band you love because each release will be something different from the last. 'Infinity Overhead,' the group's fifth album, continues this trend. The full-length maintains some familiar elements, taking ideas from all of the band's previous releases and expanding on them, especially predecessor, 2010's 'Omni.'

Those who didn't like 'Omni' however, fear not, this record pulls things back a little (in some ways) and features far more similarities to one of MTB's finest releases, 2005's 'Menos el Oso.' That being said, you won't notice this until about the half way point, with tracks like the acoustic driven 'Listing', which let front man Jake Snider's effect free vocals take the lead, supported by building string lines.

The first part of the album incorporates more synthesisers and dance beats than ever before, especially in 'Lies And Eyes', which almost sounds like an indie dance track save for the dirty guitars, which are balanced well in both this and opener 'Steel And Blood', against the synths. The thing about 'Lies And Eyes', is that it has these incredibly strong melody lines which make it hard to resist. Minus The Bear are teetering on pop music, but the kind of pop music that is worth hearing.

The mid-section's mood is in complete contrast to the opening, with songs like the solemn 'Heaven Is A Ghost Town', - one of the album highlights thanks to its atmospheric guitars and lo-fi electronic beat. It is hard to make comments like “the band's song-writing is maturing” because from the word go it has always been mature and simply brilliant, on 'Infinity Overhead,' this is merely extended.

The record ends with some dirty whammy in 'Lonely Gun', bringing back the dance beats, then 'Cold Company', a track that lets its guitars do the talking with some familiar MTB delayed effects.

Minus The Bear are one of those bands who clearly make music to challenge and satisfy themselves with little regard for the listener. This may add to why they are so amazing, or just simply be the reason. Regardless, 'Infinity Overhead' is another brilliant piece of work to add to their eclectic catalogue.

1. Steel and Blood 
2. Lies and Eyes
3. Diamond Lightning
4. Toska
5. Listing"  
6. Heaven Is a Ghost Town
7. Empty Party Rooms
8. Zeroes  
9. Lonely Gun  
10. Cold Company