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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Review: Minus the Bear’s fifth album takes it down a notch, succeeds brilliantly

A change in a band’s sound can be jarring. Musical groups are constantly evolving, and with this comes the risk of alienating their fans. Fortunately this is not the case for five-person indie band Minus the Bear with their fifth studio album, “Infinity Overhead.” With respect for its previous works, the Seattle-born band uses a different palette to paint its most recent soundscape.

Compared to Minus the Bear’s earlier releases, “Menos el Oso” (2005) and “Omni” (2010), “Infinity Overhead” is a less electronically based album. The enthusiastic electronic melodies are still present, and yet they take a step back, allowing room for cleaner, less-affected guitars. Minus the Bear dishes out vivid emotion with tracks like “Listing” and “Lies and Eyes.” Both tracks prove that clean guitars don’t accommodate the voice of lead vocalist Jake Snider as well as the iconic piano sound could. The members, however, can dish out some slick solos.

This is not to say the band has forgotten its roots. Tracks like “Toska” and “Zeroes” are reminiscent of the group’s older sounds. The track “Diamond Lightning,” has similar instrumentals to “Omni’s” tracks. It’s within their nostalgic sound that fans can be assured it’s still Minus the Bear in there.

“Infinity Overhead” is a change for Minus the Bear, but it is proof that as the indie-rock band’s sound changes, its ability to produce quality music does not waver.

Overall ratings: 4 stars

Indie band Minus the Bear released a pleasingly nostalgic fifth album, which will satisfy their fans.

Steven Pirani can be reached at spirani1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @stevenpirani