Amusing titles like "You Kill Bugs Good, Man" left in the past. Groove orientated, summery feel good songs gone. Even, the trippy guitar psych-prog sound of Planet of Ice have been replaced by the electronic tones of OMNI. So what is left for Minus The Bear to do? Well, go back to what we would expect it would seem...
In the lead-up to the release of Minus The Bear's forthcoming album, Infinity Overhead, guitarist/vocalist Jake Snider said that Minus The Bear were officially back. Infinity Overhead may not have the long movie inspired titles that Highly Refined Pirates possessed but it shares the same emphasis. A million miles from last release, the highly disappointing OMNI, Infinity Overhead is closer to home when put beside Menos El Oso. Guitar driven, songs like Listing are absolutely drenched to the bone in gloriously sweet melodies that sweep you off your feet while lead single Lonely Gun shows that Minus The Bear haven't lost their touch in writing something that is both progressive and poppy, proving that even on their fifth album they have the ability to create unpredictable music. The stand-out track though is a slow one, Heaven is a Ghost Town. It is neither progressive, nor poppy and yet is a standalone reason why five albums on, if someone mentions Minus The Bear, I am instantly paying attention. Truly showing the vast improvement in vocals Snider has made since the bands early days, simple guitar chords are enhanced by deliciously low key electronics bringing out Sniders almost anti-religious lyrics.
Here's the big spin right here. OMNI wasn't good. At the point of hearing it I was lost as a Minus The Bear fan. Infinity Overhead isn't just a great return to form; it's possibly one of the albums of the year and shows that if there's any justice in the music industry Minus The Bear will stick around for a bit longer.
4 / 5
Infinity Overhead is available from August 28th.