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Minus The Bear – Infinity Overhead

Becci Stanley

Triangle

Minus the Bear are back. After a hit and miss reception from last album Omni, no one was quite sure what new release Infinity Overhead had to offer, though this offering will blast away all condemnations and hopefully to many prove the be their best album yet. This fifth studio album is rich in what Minus the Bear is good at: guitar, guitar, guitar, electronics and sophisticated time signatures; whilst exploring new and exciting territory, though not stepping as far outside the boundaries as people might have hope.

Debut single Diamond Lightning starts majestically though quickly becomes slightly repetitive, despite slow and beautiful guitar work, though livens up and becomes anthemic towards the outro quite unlike anything Minus the Bear have done before and has an almost surreal, acid-trip kind of vibe.  Blending beautifully into Toska; which contrasts to this with crashing drums, tinkling electronics and disjointed guitar, showing that Minus the Bear still maintain their roots? Much like this is opening track Steel and Blood which symbolizes everything that is Minus the Bear, with a grungier side shown by nifty and dark guitar work whilst contrasting to soft tinges of synth.

Other highlights from this album include acoustic track Listing, an oddly fast-paced and up-beat tune which will get any listener immediately moving and shows that contrary to popular belief, the band aren’t all melancholia and moody faces and that the band can mould themselves to most musical stylings. Despite this, the band does not stray too far from what they know, as displayed in deep and dark “Heaven is a Ghost Town, although it is stereotypical of the band, it shows slight improvement in the form of control, richness of guitars and the diversity synth can add to a track. Meanwhile closing track Cold Company is a personal favourite of mine, showing the most variety in any track on the album, showcasing deep and meaningful lyrics, driving guitars which start melodic and end anthemic and rugged and synth adding extra depth to the music.

While this is an impressive album for the band compared to Omni, it is much the same to previous releases which may be a welcome return to some or a disappointment to others. You would expect more development in a band that has been around for over 10 years, though this is a good album if you do not compare it to the previous four releases. A welcome return from the Seattle hailing group.

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