Minus the Bear – Omni
Over the years since their inception, Minus the Bear, love ‘em or hate ‘em, have always been an interesting band. From toss-away early song titles like Hey, Wanna Throw Up? to Dave Knudson’s increasingly impression guitar mimicry, they’ve always offered a good, if not great, aesthetic.
Until Omni, their records have generally been challenging as well, where guitars can sound like electronic bells or synth, and beats hit hard and fast. With their latest record, however, the Seattle gang seems to have shirked the prog influence of Planet of Ice in favour of a decidedly more pop- and IDM-flavoured sound.
While there are still some heavy hitters – the skulking riff of Secret Country comes to mind – Omni marks the band’s most accessible effort to date. But even in this new direction, the Bear doesn’t stumble, as the dance-floor ditty Animal Backwards, with off-mark percussion and plodding bass underlying Jake Snyder’s velveteen vocals, marks a highlight on the LP. [Jason Morton]
Minus the Bear play Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh on 31 August.http://www.minusthebear.com