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Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice (Cover Artwork)

Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear: Planet of IcePlanet of Ice (2007)
Suicide Squeeze Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

One thing I have always loved about Minus the Bear is that the band never keeps their sound stagnant from album to album, yet they always maintain or improve the elements of their sound that I find most appealing. Planet of Ice, the band's third full-length, is by far their best album to date. Th.
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One thing I have always loved about Minus the Bear is that the band never keeps their sound stagnant from album to album, yet they always maintain or improve the elements of their sound that I find most appealing.

Planet of Ice, the band's third full-length, is by far their best album to date. The Seattle-based quintet may not be as fun as they used to be, but we saw that coming with 2005's Menos el Oso when they stopped using hilarious track names and took a darker lyrical and instrumental approach. Where Planet of Ice exceeds is in how it improves on the strides the band took to make Menos el Oso such a great album. Their arrangements continue to be spacious, ambient and moody, but this time around seem to carry themselves with a little more direction. Jake Snider's vocals play along with the instrumentation better than they ever have in the past without resorting to overproduction to do so. With so much going on in the band's sound, that's quite an accomplishment.

One of the greatest aspects of Minus the Bear is that they're amazingly easy to listen to. All their work has been perfect summertime music, great to play on the dock at the cottage. However, the band has always allowed the listener to challenge themselves, and they do this even more with Planet of Ice. The synth and guitar elements of the songs take off in a number of directions with various degrees of complexity and Snider's lyrics, while on the surface seem clear enough, are still pretty vague.

My only criticism of the album would be that it's weighted in such a manner as to leave the first half stronger than the second. "Burying Luck" opens up in classic Minus the Bear fashion and continues through to "Ice Monster" with Snider tugging his vocals along with newcomer Alex Rose's keyboards. These familiar comforts continue through until "Part 2" when the band takes the show in a slightly different direction, although not one that is necessarily unwelcome. With quicker guitar arrangements and the band trying more new things, the second half of the album isn't as instantly appealing as the first, but after some time that changes.

However, giving people the opportunity to delve deeper into the record without forcing it upon them is a wonderful thing. Planet of Ice allows you to listen to it as you please, be that falling into the background or intently with $300 headphones on, and either way it's a brilliant listen.

 

 
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NOFX - Punk In DrublicMinus The Bear - Menos El OsoAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThursday - Full CollapseBrand New - Deja EntenduThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

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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.
MTBCAC (October 23, 2007)

can anyone answer why punk music is ridiculous when you are high

MTBCAC (October 23, 2007)

best album ive heard yet with regards to talent and uniqueness

vanpunk (October 14, 2007)

this was the worst piece of indie shit ive ever heard. why did anyone even bother reviewing this douchebag pussy band.

Anonymous (August 31, 2007)

Where are the new reviews? Rabble, rabble, rabble.

Anonymous (August 31, 2007)

I love how retards always complain that pitchfork reviews are too difficult to read. Dummies are funny.

PervyD (August 31, 2007)

Beer Commercials, the occasional live show, and then a bitchin compilation CD of the best 4 songs from their albums and that's all you need really.......unless you're like me and like to wank off to the strange guitar parts regardless of the quality of the tune. Score is for masturbation.

nocigar (August 30, 2007)

totally agree with person below me, score is for their live show.

Ollywood (August 30, 2007)

Minus The Bear are one of the best live performing bands. At least they camem off that way the one time I saw them.

Anonymous (August 29, 2007)

i love this cd. not as good as the last one but this was good. but i cant listen to it when im high. it freaks the shit out of me.

nate_derby (August 29, 2007)

Easily the best. Wish the vinyl would've come with the bonus disc, though.

Oh well...that's what they made torrents for.

Anonymous (August 29, 2007)

This record is fucking awesome. MTB manage to evolve with every record yet still retain what originally made them so great. It's layered, it's atmospheric, and it's poppy. They took what they were doing on Menos El Oso and took it to the next level somehow. This is their best album, and this is coming from someone who has been a fan since the beginning. It's goddamn excellent.

-r3venge therapy

SydBarrett420 (August 29, 2007)

Great Record but def. not their best yet

DickAround (August 29, 2007)

Amazing band. Good album. Can't wait to see them live.

elephantdwarf (August 29, 2007)

this album is soooooooooo inferior to Menos El Oso. and the rest of their catalog as well.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

after a couple of listenings... wow, great record... love the guitar work

damnitsderek (August 28, 2007)

But don't take my word for it, listen to David Cross: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/10279-guest-list-da vid-cross-albums-to-listen-to-while-reading-overwrought-pitchfork -reviews

I just read the Autechre review that David Cross mentioned. That is by far some of the dumbest shit that I've ever laid eyes on. Achilles and Tortoise? Jesus Christ. Score is for Dominique Leone.

Ice Planet , however, is fantastic.

Kursk (August 28, 2007)

Part 2 is such a shitty song, I don't know why they put it on there as opposed to either "electric rainbow" or "patiently waiting" from the bonus CD on the actual album instead as both of those songs are nowhere near as boring and lackluster as that song.

Other than that though, the other 9 songs on this album are great in my opinion, in a lot of ways better than Menos El Oso and its always a good thing for any band when your album get successively better.

So I give it a 9, since i like 9 of th 10 songs, right?

PJZ (August 28, 2007)

in my top 10 bands of all time. great record too

nocigar (August 28, 2007)

this album is amazing, if you read these comments and listen to that opinion of dbag danperrone then you are going to miss out on a great album.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

Whew! That scared me ... on first read I thought it said Axl Rose

tenwestchaser (August 28, 2007)

I had never been to the Pitchfork page so I checked out that David Cross link below and skimmed some of their reviews. What a bunch of fucking douchebaggery. Won't be visiting them again.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

Dudes named "Scott" and "Heisel" are STOKED!

fattony (August 28, 2007)

Love this album. This is one of the better reviews I've read too, if only because it doesn't gush over "Lotus" and its 9-minute length. It's a great song, but far from the best on the album, as some reviews might lead you to believe.

branden (August 28, 2007)

"The pitchfork review was better."

the mark prindle review is best.

tenwestchaser (August 28, 2007)

Just like anything Minus The Bear puts out, this needs a little bit of time to grow on you. Even though I loved "Highly Refined Pirates" immediately, it took me more than one or two listens to love "Beer Commercials" and it certainly took me several to fall in love with "Menos." I still, however, ended up loving everything they have ever put out and "Planet Of Ice" is not changing this pattern as the more I listen to it the more I like it. "Ice Monster" is now one of my favorite MTB songs. Also, "Beer Commercials" is certainly better than "Gigantic." The production on the latter really hinders its strength even though the songs themselves are great.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

This is easily the best thing they've ever done, with Beer Commercials in second. My pick so far for the best album of 2007.

insinceredave (August 28, 2007)

I've been listening to this for a week now and I think its their most solid album to date, it maybe just lacks a killer song.

Still its a very good record and with repeated listens i'm sure it'll only get better.

danperrone (August 28, 2007)

this album sucks...sorry dudes, but you were better when you were having fun and not taking yourselves so seriously

Thus_Spoke_Sean (August 28, 2007)

to the poster below:

berr comericals is probably my favorite release by this band.

now, i should probably listen to this album a few more times, but if the second half "isnt as appealing" (or whatever, i cant see the review anymore) im not to encouraged, i listened to the first first 7 songs and was pretty dissapointed.

maybe its just a grower? but i really thought some of the material would be suited for an elevator.

Archangel (August 28, 2007)

Pretty good review. And guy below me, Pitchfork reviews are never better. Read that site for the news, if you're interested in the bands they cover -- NOT the reviews. Those things are unbelievably full of shit; all of those creative writing majors try to put their philosophy 100 classes and lectures on postmodernism to some sort of use by impressing the hell out of the other writers who sit around jerking off to each others' bullshit.

But don't take my word for it, listen to David Cross: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/10279-guest-list-da vid-cross-albums-to-listen-to-while-reading-overwrought-pitchfork -reviews

Anyway, this album is great and I agree with the reviewer on most points. Except for the cottage... I don't have one.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

The pitchfork review was better.

This is What I Know About Being Gigantic is their best stuff.

inagreendase (August 28, 2007)

Poster below: I haven't heard the former, but Beer Commercials has some of their best jams.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

I have their first two full lengths and I'm gonna buy this.

Which EP should I pick up as well:

"This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic" or "They Make Beer Commercials Like This"?

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