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Minus the Bear - Infinity Overhead (Cover Artwork)

Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear: Infinity OverheadInfinity Overhead (2012)
Dangerbird Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Despite their overcast, rainy home base, the music of Seattle, Wash.'s Minus the Bear is tailor-made for summer. It's a bit of a shame that Infinity Overhead, the group's fifth long-player, is being released at the tail end of August, as the bulk of it feels like the soundtrack to a hot June night. .
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Despite their overcast, rainy home base, the music of Seattle, Wash.'s Minus the Bear is tailor-made for summer. It's a bit of a shame that Infinity Overhead, the group's fifth long-player, is being released at the tail end of August, as the bulk of it feels like the soundtrack to a hot June night. At this point in their career, Minus the Bear are reliable professionals, and Infinity Overhead doesn't offer much in the way of surprises, but it manages to capture the essence of the several musical routes they've taken in the past, combining them into a well-rounded, if not absolutely essential listening experience.

Kickstarting the proceedings is "Steel and Blood," one of the most direct pop/rock songs the group has ever penned. If ever a Minus the Bear track had a chance to conquer rock radio, this would be it. It's got all the hallmarks of classic Minus the Bear, twinkling guitar loops and lyrics about making sweet, sweet love intact, but with an accessibility not felt in early works like debut full-length Highly Refined Pirates.

From there, however, Infinity Overhead plays like something of a greatest hits album, touching on many of the styles the group have tried their hand at over the years. The synths of Infinity Overhead's somewhat divisive predecessor OMNI rear their head on many of the album's 10 tracks. On that album, they were trying something new. Sometimes it worked ("Into the Mirror" stands tall amongst the group's best material) and sometimes it didn't (most of the other tracks). On Infinity Overhead, the group integrates the synths into their music much more seamlessly.

Infinity Overhead should contain something for just about anyone who's ever been into a Minus the Bear record. Mid-album standout "Empty Rooms" is a lovelorn, mellow beach jam that wouldn't be out of place on 2005's outstanding Menos El Oso. Even the acoustic guitars featured prominently on the band's aptly named 2008 EP Acoustics make an appearance in the form of "Listing." Dave Knudson's dizzying guitar pyrotechnics, a staple of their early work, make a triumphant return on show-stopping album closer "Cold Company." It's the most energetic song on Infinity Overhead, and arguably the best song Minus the Bear has written since 2005.

So while Infinity Overhead might not reach the same towering heights as the group's first three full-lengths, it is their best album in quite some time, and contains a few barnburners all but guaranteed to become live staples. No matter which era of Minus the Bear tickles your fancy most, if you've ever been a fan, there's something for you on Infinity Overhead.

 

 
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The Horrible Crowes - ElsieClassics of Love - Classics of LoveThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenThe Hextalls - Rock You to SleepQueens of the Stone Age - ...Like ClockworkKid Dynamite - Shorter, Faster, LouderMinus the Bear - OMNILook Mexico - To Bed to BattleWavves - King of the BeachSmoke or Fire - The Speakeasy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SydBarrett420 (September 8, 2012)

This band USED to be extremely creative and put out awesome record after awesome record. Then, after Planet of Ice they somehow got boring and started putting out albums with only a few keepers

canaandrumzz (August 30, 2012)

I think I'm starting to put this above "planet of ice" even. That record has a strong first half and I never flip it over. This I can easily listen to front to back.

davebrave4 (August 28, 2012)

I haven't listened to this yet but, based on the review, it sounds like these mahfuckas still haven't managed to make anything as awesome as Highly Refined Pirates. Here's hoping their live show's still good--I'm seeing them next month for the first time in seven years or so.

damnitsderek (August 28, 2012)

Why all of the low ratings? I enjoy this a lot so far. Vastly superior as a whole to OMNI.

Also, guy below me is spot-on about Seattle.

Citizen_Crack (August 28, 2012)

August is the best part of the summer in Seattle.

millslane (August 28, 2012)

Good review and a solid album. Looking forward to seeing them with Cursive

sweetser (August 28, 2012)

Solid album, and I think this review is spot-on.

preston (August 28, 2012)

The only album I really consistently listen to is Highly Refined Pirates.

danperrone (August 28, 2012)

not good. i'm getting pretty sick of this band.

MN_DrNick (August 28, 2012)

This is better than Omni. For the direction they've been trying to go for with their music, I'd say this is what they should've done for Omni. Good stuff.

renaldo69 (August 28, 2012)

good but not great.

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