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REVIEW: Minus The Bear – “VOIDS”

They are cute, they are cuddly and most of us had one as a children. What am I talking about? Bears! Well, at least, teddy bears. But, in fact, our lovely forest living animal friends are threatened. The last brown bear in Germany was killed in 1835 in Ruhrpolding. A whole species got extinguished from the country I live in. But then in 2016, 181 years later, a brown bear was seen in southern Germany. What happened to the animal called ‘Bruno’? Of course, it was shot by a hunter. Once again, humanity showed its hatred for animals and disrespect for nature. But why are we even talking about brown bears? Imagine a world without these animals. Think of mathematics, what does it equal? Minus The Bear.

ENOUGH BIOLOGY STUFF, LET’S GET NERDY!

Minus The Bear is a band from Seattle that just released its newest output, VOIDS, on March 3rd via Suicide Squeeze Records. Delivering a mix of the band’s math rock roots and a contemporary recording approach, this album stands out from the usual progressive approach we deal with.

Reining in their math rock influences, the band really takes a focus on the indie aspect of their sound throughout the record. “Robotic Heart” sounds mathy in terms of the guitars, but seems structurally composed as a soft rock song; if it weren’t for the guitar techniques or guitar sound in general, this would totally be an indie rock track fit for radio. A song like “Invisible” has a very electronic ambiance, with the vocals tying the song together. “Silver” is a very Foal-ish track, easily comparable in both instrumental and vocal senses – a typical indie song that sounds like relaxed drive on a sunny day. For sure, some parts are repeated a little too often, which can get almost annoying to the listener. This repetition is not uncommon in the genre.

Nonetheless, the biggest problem with the songs on VOIDS is probably their recurring, predictable structures. The way the songs are constructed gets repetitive by the end of the record, and many melodies won’t quite catch your ear immediately. Though “Last Kiss” doesn’t have quite the potential to be a hit single, it still has hooks that will stay you; unfortunately, this isn’t a consistent element in the record.

TAKE YOUR TIME FOR VOIDS

It took a few spins before Minus The Bear really caught my attention with VOIDS. “Last Kiss” somehow grew on me while listening to it over and over again. This music is widely accessible and easy on the ears, but it’s somehow bulky. The melodies really need two or three spins to finally catch one’s attention. However, this isn’t a bad thing, because you’ll be drawn to listen to this record over and over again! Even if it’s not the best work of the band and though the songs are somewhat similar, there is still much to enjoy on VOIDS.  Further, the album’s production aptly fits the quirky, electronic elements of the record while still sounding natural. VOIDS can, in some ways, be compared to Gates‘ newest output in their similarly soft, somber and ambient tones.

IT WILL GROW ON YOU

Do you need some music to relax to? Do you want to find the perfect music for your roadtrip? Well, then Minus The Bear have the best solution for you! If you’re searching for groundbreaking grooves, heavy guitar riffing and immense growls, you are going in the wrong direction. But it doesn’t always need to be heavy, right? Enjoy the chilling beauty of VOIDS and try some music that may be a little unusual to you at first! With time, it will catch your attention!

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Score: 7/10

Notable Tracks: “Last Kiss”; “Silver”, “Robotic Heart”

FFO: Foals, Mutiny On The Bounty, Gates

Make sure to follow Minus The Bear on Facebook!

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