Minus The Bear

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Highly Refined Pirates (2002) , 6.5/10
Menos el Oso (2005) , 5/10
Planet of Ice (2007), 6/10
Omni (2010), 5/10
Infinity Overhead (2012) , 4/10
Voids (2017), 4/10

Minus The Bear, fronted by Jake Snider, are a Seattle band that rejuvinated emo-core by stretching Fugazi's original aesthetics to accomodate progressive jamming driven by guitarist Dave Knudson and keyboardist Matt Bayles' sonic follies. The EP This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic (Suicide Squeeze, 2001), with the surreal Lemurs Man Lemurs, showed all the goods, while the album Highly Refined Pirates (Suicide Squeeze, 2002) was bogged down by excessive filler.

The EP They Make Beer Commercials Like This (Arena Rock, 2004) veered towards more straightforward rock'n'roll. And Menos el Oso (2005) winked at power-pop (The Game Needed Me). Interpretaciones del Oso (2007) is a remix of some tracks from Menos el Oso.

Planet of Ice (Suicide Squeeze, 2007), replacing Matt Bayles with new keyboardist Alex Rose, is both an aural experience (impeccable production and playing) and a cerebral experience (convoluted structures and mood shifts). Double Vision Quest, Ice Monster, the seven-minute Dr L'Ling and especially the nine-minute Lotus make for some pleasant while disorienting listening.

Omni (2010) boasted a broad palette of style, enhanced with heavier electronic arrangements, but it all sounded like a trick to hide the dearth of ideas.

Infinity Overhead (2012) and Voids (2017) simply lacked inspiration.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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