October 8, 2008

Minus The Bear - Acoustics EP (2008)

Keeping up with my Seattle kick of late, Minus The Bear (or Menos El Oso for our Spanish-speaking readership) has put out an Acoustics EP that is available for digital download. Or for those who prefer physical copies, they'll be for sale at merchandise booths on their current tour (can't wait, 10/26/08!).

Being one of my favorite math rock bands, I'm enamored with their experimental rock feel, melodic chords and that signature atypical rhythmic structure that always reel me in. If those aren't reason enough, lead singer Jake Snider perfectly complements the music with a sleepy sexiness in voice that is forceful and entrancing, yet so laid-back. Lyrically, Snider tends to focus on the perennial themes of sex/getting wasted/having fun, but manages to do so in this punch-drunk, romantic way without being too touchy-feely. So why the Acoustics EP? I was hesitant and feared stripped down versions might minus the Bear out of their sound completely...

...well, I was wrong since this 6-track EP ain't half bad. It's actually a full-band acoustic that maintains their indie rock sensibility, while adding an intimate and jazzy feel. There's a new track "Guns & Ammo," 4 of the best off 2007's Planet Of Ice ("Burying Luck," "Knights," "Throwin' Shapes," and "Ice Monster"), as well as fan-favorite "We Are Not A Football Team" off 2002's Highly Refined Pirates. But the track that stole the show is "Pachuca Sunrise" off 2005's Menos El Oso. Already gorgeous in its electric version, the acoustic adds this whole new chill element that still works with some of the most effortlessly romantic lyrics I've ever heard. The imagery is so lush that each time I play this song, I literally am transported to the same Mediterranean beach, watching the “luster from the city lights, on the waves that kiss our feet.

I only wish they'd included "Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!" (my first taste) or all-time favorite "Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse" (both off Highly Refined Pirates), but no dice. If you're new to MTB, I'd suggest checking out "Absinthe..." The guitar-driven intro spanning the first minute + 30 seconds of this track is enough to get a Minus The Bear novice out of hibernation. See for yourself.. it's just plain ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

dissonant. . .not really!

Mona said...

Oh god, hush up. Happy now?