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Planet of Ice

Minus the Bear

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Album Review

As evidenced on Planet of Ice, Minus the Bear's corner of the indie rock universe is much like that of Death Cab for Cutie's: smoothly melodic and tinged with all kinds of forward-thinking ephemera. "Knights" is dotted with electronic traces but driven primarily by spiky prog guitar leads and a driving pop hook. Nevertheless, there's also a grandiose side to Minus the Bear that strives for the arena and some kind of Incubus-like world of proggy, expansive guitar enchantment; it's indicated by the wheeling psychedelic accents on "Throwin' Shapes" and the slicing riffs of "Buryin' Luck." "Ice Monster" and "When We Escape" find the band hunkered down into spacy love grooves, while the icy plinks of "Lotus" locate even dreamier musical spaces. This is an album full of interesting harmonics, polished melodies, and singular arrangements, and overall a strong, hypnotic effort from the Seattle band.

Customer Reviews

Wampa Stompa

I don't write reviews. This is my first one. I just had to give this record some love because it has given so much to me. I could listen to this album over and over never get tired of it. It is a cliche thing to say, I know, but so true. Listening to it from beginning to end is the way to go; it feels like you are on this 'Planet of Ice' and the music just seeps from the frozen surface and melts in to your ear canal. A lot of effort is put into the progression from one track to the next. Especially between 'Ice Monster' and 'Knights.' Being a fellow musician, I just have the utmost respect for these guys. The drums are well-conceived and appropriately applied to the song: start-stop kind of stuff, not the full-on crash cymbal-happy stuff that has consumed rock and roll. The guitar is perfect and maybe my favorite part: the riffs fly around your speakers like rare insects, swarming and stinging. The effects they use are interesting and not excessive. Lots of delay, which I love. And then the vocals are just ethereal: the kind of suff that makes you want to fall in love, get your heart broken, and do it all over again. Not quite a concept album, but almost. A song for every mood: intense, introspective deep-thought ('Part 2' and 'Lotus'), acheing love and infatuation ('Ice Monster'), amped-up ready to go downtown ('Knights' and 'Burying Luck"), and of course there is a good make-out song or two on there ('When We Escape' and 'White Mystery'). Please buy this record. I implore you; you will not regret it. Best purchase I have ever made on iTunes.

great album.

how are they not huge?? i love every song from this band... i can't even chose a favorite! i'm always searching for bands that's music can keep my interest and shake up my ears the way minus the bear does, but few succeed.

Music for Cool People in the Future....

This record is great from start to finish, like all albums should be...Each song is brilliantly layered, catchy and complicated...This band is def about 15 years ahead of its time..."Ice Monster" received moderate play on college radio..."Burying Luck", "Knights", "White Mystery" and "Throwin' Shapes" are my personal favorite stand out tracks...This band is great for people who enjoy good music....

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With catchy song titles like "Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked," "Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!," and "Lemurs, Man, Lemurs," it's hard not to be at least a little bit curious about this Seattle-based quintet. Featuring members of Botch, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving, Minus the Bear emerged on Seattle's music scene in 2001 with the release of their six-song EP This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic. The band comprised guitarist Dave Knudson, vocalist/guitarist Jake Snider, drummer Erin Tate,...
Full Bio
Planet of Ice, Minus the Bear
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