Minus The Bear Infinity Overhead

Following in the footsteps of Andrew WK, Walter Schreifels (Rival Schools) and Cursive, Minus The Bear are the next high profile American act to join British label Big Scary Monster's fine roster of bands which currently houses home grown artists Shoes and Socks Off and Tall Ships. Known as an indie rock band with prog rock leanings Minus The Bear went with a more sexually oriented pop sound on 2010's Omni. The video for Steel And Blood serves as a good indicator that they keep it sexual on this record too.

Following on from the outstanding Planet of Ice and Omni in which Minus the Bear perfected their craft then comes Infinity Overhead. The artwork looks like a glossy version of The Dillinger Escape Plan's Miss Machine with extra sheen befitting of a shiny selection of songs which partner the last two records well, exploring similar ground as was heard on these. Toska would not sound out of place on either of these records and even sounds familiar. It is arguably the most heavy album Dave Knudson has helped write since Botch because of the distorted guitars but don't hold your breath if you were a fan of his former outfit. Counter to this on one of the heavier numbers Lies and Eyes there is a pop synth that wouldn't sound out of place on a Kyle Minogue track.

Elsewhere Listing and Heaven Is A Ghost Town sound more simple than their signature complex compositions. Jake Snider's are never forceful they rather gently float over the music. On tracks of theirs like Cold Company I sometimes wish they had a screamer or just a more powerful vocalist to generate more urgency or desperation to match the music and lyrics. With its guitar pushing the use of a wah peddle and other effects to the max and Super Mario-esque synthesizer Lonely Gun sounds like a remix so there will be no need for a remixed album like Interpretaciones del Oso this time around. With the exception of this track the record fails to conquer what could be classed as new territory. This let up in creativity could be seen as a let down however Infinity Overhead is of a high quality order and as such is a welcome addition to the Minus The Bear catalogue. It fits into this rather than standing out from it.