Minus the Bear - Interpretaciones del Oso (Cover Artwork)

Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear: Interpretaciones del OsoInterpretaciones del Oso (2007)
Suicide Squeeze Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: cbolandcboland
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Remix albums are a tricky proposition. They succeed when the songs are altered enough to stand as independent entities, but not so much that they rob the original of its identity. These days the industry, particularly the indie side of it, pumps out such albums at a prodigious pace (ask Bloc Party)..
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Remix albums are a tricky proposition. They succeed when the songs are altered enough to stand as independent entities, but not so much that they rob the original of its identity. These days the industry, particularly the indie side of it, pumps out such albums at a prodigious pace (ask Bloc Party). At their crassest, labels use them as a quick cash-grab for bands taking their sweet money-draining time crafting their next opus. Suicide Squeeze appears ethical enough to privilege the artistry of the remix over the commerce.

Enter Minus the Bear. 11 artists deconstruct and rebuild the entirety of 2005's Menos el Oso. Now remember, we're dealing with a band whose guitarist (David Knudson) did for the instrument what Van Halen did two decades before. To reconfigure said finger-tapped riffing based band, and do it convincingly, is no small feat. How would "Panama" sound without Eddie? Or "Eruption" sans shred? Somehow many of the partakers in this daring project manage to achieve the impossible.

"Drilling" goes from the smooth as Land ??o Lakes butter original version to a slow-burning booty-shimmering electro-funk stomp. Tyondai Braxton churns "Fulfill the Dream" through the glitchcore meat grinder to squeeze out an Autechre-like lump that bears no resemblance to the original. "Hooray" becomes a thumping, `80s-style dance floor bopper, and the already heavily drum ??n bass "The Pig War" transforms into a cool, somber and clarinet-coated denouement thanks to O, Hunter.

Meanwhile, "Memphis and 53rd" sags with an overly saturnine sound. "The Fix" comes across flat with nebulous electro-noodling. Similar to "Memphis and 53rd," the remix artist converts the verve of the already electronic-sounding original to a deflated, robotic lumbering pace. In other revamped renditions, the reworking doesn't differ significantly from the original to merit inclusion.

The question must be raised whether it is creatively prudent to dispense with the tone and structure of the original song during the remix procedure. As in the case of good cover songs, it is imperative that the new rendition be lent some semblance of originality, an imprint of the artist giving the oldie a once over. Most of the remixers on Interpretaciones lather their takes on Minus the Bear with differing degrees of themselves to partly or completely change the original. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But Interpretaciones del Oso demonstrates that musicians can bring different tools to the table to carve something new out from the old...even without a guitar.


People who liked this also liked:
Polar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just DisappearMinus the Bear - Planet of IceBear Vs Shark - Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right...Brand New - Deja EntenduLatterman - ...We Are Still AliveThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangAlkaline Trio - Remains [CD/DVD]Polar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgMineral - The Power of Failing.None More Black - This Is Satire

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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.
Kursk (February 22, 2007)

I love Minus the Bear but I have no desire to invest in this at all.

Anonymous (February 21, 2007)


Anonymous (February 21, 2007)

minus the bear=musical masturbation
minus the bear remix album=sloppy seconds, probably with musical syphilus

rocktopus (February 21, 2007)

I just heard this. And seriously,bit of a let down.....There are a few nice ones in there. But I think they should have got Aphex Twin to remix the whole thing.

cantsitstill (February 21, 2007)

saw these guys open for Braid on the reunion tour.
most. boring. band. ever.
fuck the finger tapping: every song sounded the same.

Anonymous (February 20, 2007)

Remixes are like sloppy-seconds.

Anonymous (February 20, 2007)

my semen is all over this.

rocktopus (February 20, 2007)

I am all over this.....

tenwestchaser (February 20, 2007)

Minus The Bear is so fucking awesome I get chills. Special, special band. Even though comparing them to Van Halen is over the top due to a MAJOR difference in popularity, I still love it. Van Halen is fucking sweet.

Godfather (February 20, 2007)

remixes are fucking stupid

Anonymous (February 20, 2007)

both guitarists focus on finger tapping, thats where the similarity is drawn.

benz (February 20, 2007)

Minus the Bear is not doing for guitar what Van Halen did for guitar.

That being said, the guitars do rule and so does Minus the Bear.

But come on... Eddie Van Halen???

Big_Guy (February 20, 2007)

The P.O.S. remix is definitely sweetness

thehandshakepact (February 20, 2007)

This is a really well-written review. It's nice to see something coherent on this site now and again.

OverDefined (February 20, 2007)

I love this band, but I'm not huge on this remix record.

damnitsderek (February 20, 2007)

I enjoy anything these guys do

Oh man. 100% agreed.

Anonymous (February 20, 2007)

Saying this band "did for the instrument what Van Halen did two decades before" seems a bit over the top, no?

maverick (February 20, 2007)

The "Drilling" and "Pachuca Sunrise" remixes are the biggest standouts here, but there's a lot of jams, for sure. The band even said they're thinking about re-working some of their songs to play them like the remixes live, and I'm super-excited to see what comes of that.


nocigar (February 20, 2007)

I enjoy anything these guys do

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