MINUS THE BEAR- Infinity overhead
I get called 'an emo' and/or 'an indie kid' by people in office-wear on a regular basis. I usually take some offence at this, purely because it's based on me owning a Vespa and having a few tattoos. To add insult to injury, I like this band so they're probably right. Released through Big Scary Monsters, 'Infinity overhead' is the latest offering from a five-piece formed just over a decade ago and sees them reunite with former member and longtime producer Matt Bayles (responsible for one-such Cursive). That said, the beauty of reviewing this album is that I haven't heard anything else by Minus The Bear, so I can't make comparisons to their last release, the apparently more experimental 'OMNI', though I can say that I hear they look like they're dancing when performing live because they use a lot of effects pedals. Whether they still do this is debatable. Perhaps they can't anymore because, where they used to be math, they are now pop.
In fact, dare I use the term 'melodic rock' to describe the majority of what is found here? Easy comparisons are made to Biffy Clyro, dancing on the bones of post-hardcore favourites Jetplane Landing, Cave In, even The Mono Effect (I apologise not for having these musical references and continually using them). However, and perhaps interestingly, Minus The Bear seem to have avoided any real commercial success as have maybe all-but-one of the above. This could be due to the fact that none of them look like Simon Neil. Maybe not.
But, seriously, it is questionable as to why. After all, the vocal is as strong as Biffy's; the songs are as anthemic; album opener, 'Steel and blood' has aggressive lyrical content that will appeal to the boys, and they can punch the air to the rest of the record while their girlfriends don't have to worry too much about smudging their eye make-up in the moshpit because the rest of the tracks aren't really that edgy. There are the kind of singalong opportunities to make a failed rockstar twinge with jealousy during the poppy 'Lies and eyes', spliced with the obligatory mellow moments during 'Diamond lighting' and 'Cold company'. Indeed, it's pointless asking if Minus The Bear are re-inventing the wheel because the answer is almost definitely no. Instead, they offer a predictable variety that still ticks all the right boxes. You will probably see them supporting Foo Fighters at some point, if they haven't already, because what they lack in originality they make up for in power. And power is never a bad thing. Rah.
Released 3rd September, 2012.