Minus The Bear: ‘Infinity Overheard’ (Dangerbird Records)
Laid back Seattle experimentalists Minus The Bear return with a new album, but does it break any new ground, or just retreat old steps?
Guitarist Dave Knudson of Botch and Jake Snider, former singer of Sharks Keep Moving have been playing together as part of Minus the Bear since 2001. Originating from Seattle, the band have amassed themselves a strong and loyal fanbase with their distinctive, guitar driven, indie pop. Another identifiable element is their bizarre and unconventional structures, accentuated by guitar tapping and jerky rhythms.
”ËInfinity Overheard’ is their fifth album and is produced by ex-band member Matt Bayles (who has been worked extensively as a producer for Mastodon, Soundgarden and Deftones amongst many others) however, it finds the band offering more of the same, as opposed to delving into any major new territories. As to whether you consider this a plus or a minus will depend on your existing stance on the band. For existing fans, it will undoubtedly delight, for it is an album which does become more enjoyable with extended familiarisation. The Talking Heads elements which feature on ”ËToska’ could be successfully utilised to draw in the uninitiated, but it’s unlikely that the album as a whole will bring any newcomers to the dance.
That being said, it’s a beautifully crafted record. There’s a density and craftsmanship on display which is admirable. ”ËInfinity Overheard’ is an album which will most definitely reward the patient.
Occasionally it all becomes a bit dreary, but the highpoints such as ”ËHeaven is a Ghost Town’, ”ËCold Company’ and ”ËDiamond Lightning’ certainly make it worthwhile.