Minus The Bear


Written by: PP on 02/06/2010 19:16:08

Even though the name Minus The Bear has been mentioned in connection with some of the most critically acclaimed experimental indie/pop bands for quite some time now (think Portugal. The Man and the likes), "Omni" is my first proper Minus The Bear experience, excluding a short-and-sweet session with "Planet Of Ice" a couple of years back. So I won't be able to tell you anything about how these boys have supposedly evolved on any album. But what I can tell you, however, is that "Omni" is most likely the sexiest album to have been released since Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds" (note: I'm not saying Justin is good, just that he has a 'sexy' sound).

In the midst of heavy sonic experimentation and angular guitar lines that contain slight math rock nuances (no doubt because guitarist Dave Knudson used to play in Botch) , "Omni" is, at its core, an indie pop album. Though most of the melody lines are jangly and sophisticated, relying strongly on ambiance that oozes modern avant-garde vibes, Minus The Bear consistently take care of the listener's needs for a memorable chorus section by injecting influences from R'n'B and modern pop music to compensate for the effect-laden guitars and experimentalist approach to writing music. Each soundscape oozes metropolitan, liberal open-mindedness and experimentation to the point that it wouldn't surprise me if these guys were gay, because "Omni" essentially portrays themselves as the male fashion designers of the music industry. There's just that much metro-sexuality in the keyboard tone and vocalist Jake Snider's voice.

It's difficult to find comparable acts for Minus The Bear because of the way their sound is uniquely positioned in the middle of a triangle, where each vertex represents pop, R'nB, and indie rock, respectively. You might pull a rabbit out of your hat and say "well their experimentalism draws comparisons to Portugal. The Man, Circa Survive and This Town Needs Guns, maybe even American Football", but it'd be factually incorrect to suggest the band has anything more in common with said acts. That said, it should give you a rough idea of what to expect. So what about the quality, is it a good record? I'd say it's probably pretty good, but something about those math rock-meets-Justin Timberlake compositions pushes the wrong buttons for this scribe. That said, I'm not about let my personal bias get in the way, and finish off the review by stating that if you're looking for music to have sex to, "Omni" is a, well, sexy choice.


Download: Animal Backwards, My Time
For the fans of: Justin Timberlake, Portugal. The Man, This Town Needs Guns
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.05.2010
Dangerbird Records

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