Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
Record Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
Release Date: August 21, 2007
In a world where crunkcore and electronica with all programmed music is slowly but surely reaching undeserved mainstream status, it is wonderfully refreshing to hear a band like Minus the Bear crank out some more of their signature math-tinged indie rock. After two great and consistent LPs, it had become highly apparent that Minus the Bear needed to change things up and experiment just a little bit more to create that masterpiece (or that jocular piece of shit, whichever was to come), and on their latest release from Suicide Squeeze Records, Minus shows that moderate change can lead to a great album with plenty of their signature style still left for the well-seasoned listener.
Switching things up from an experimental and ominous feel, to a compact math rock sound, this album is full of surprises. Tracks like "Knights" build up the vintage Minus the Bear sound, while others, such as "White Mystery," leave longtime fans confused how such a band could transform their musical stylings so much and still do it right. "Burying Luck" challenges the ever so prolific guitarist to meld with a heaping amount of synth, and is a great example of pure progressive rock, instead of that pussy "experimental rock" you'll find from Chiodos and Pierce the Veil.
If I could criticize one thing on the album, it would be the lyrics. Gone are the tales of scoring Atavan and female genitalia, but say hello to the cheesy lyrics. Maybe it's because the topic matter has changed and Minus the Bear may just need some time to adjust to the outside world of lyrical content. But when I read, "Outside someone was digging a hole in the ground/They were burying my luck/What have you done?" I nearly shoved the lyric booklet in my paper shredder, and it was the first song. But beside all of the lyrical goof-ups, this album is a treasure, and damn does it show how to use a reverb right! If this album isn't an immediate favorite, you'll love it slowly but surely as it grows onto you like a drug to an addict.