Minus the Bear @ Cabaret Voltaire, 31 Aug

Article by Jason Morton | 07 Sep 2010

The Bear is slow to emerge from hibernation this Tuesday night, but the high octane combo of My Time/Secret Country from the Seattle group's latest collection of hipster sex jams, Omni, finds them baring their teeth. Synth-heavy and ready for good times, their new music has the crowd heaving and swaying, though they don't necessarily dominate the set.

Peppering the set list with earlier math rock staples as often as their dalliances with prog from 2007’s Planet of Ice proves a little problematic. For tracks like The Fix, with its otherworldly staccato guitar picking, they slow things down incrementally, impeding the immediacy of the songs.

But they bring it home with Dayglow Vista Road, and then triumphantly break through the fourth wall of live performance. After announcing it as their last song – to the disappointment of the crowd – Jake Snyder holds a quick survey before suggesting the band forgo the ritualistic encore, instead ploughing through three more welcome cuts from a challenging catalogue. [Jason Morton]