Minus the Bear have always avoided easy classification, preferring to tread their own path and continue to define and invent themselves as they go. OMNI, the Seattle-based band's fourth full-length record shows the band evolving their sound and vision in a new direction , merging their myriad influences into a slinky and sensual collection of songs that effortlessly meld city-stomping rock, electro-pop and deep funk grooves.
Formed in 2001, Minus the Bear earned immediate attention with their distinctive prog-pop hybrid, featuring swirling synths and multi-layered guitar acrobatics. The band was prolific from the start and let loose with a series of EPs and albums, each drawing acclaim and a host of new fans. They embraced the road and began touring extensively, building up a dedicated fan base and discovering the powerful connection they could make when playing live.
On the new album one of the goals was to capture some of the energy and exhilaration of their live shows. The band took a more organic approach towards recording and made an effort to play together as much as possible and cast aside the usual scratch tracks and overdubs when they could.
"That was a big thing for us, changing the way we record, trying to keep as much of the performances that we were doing in the studio together to maintain the energy," explains guitarist Dave Knudson.
The new music's pulsating energy reflects this effort. None of which is to say that the quirky time signatures, hyperactive riffs, and prodigious hooks characteristic of the band's earlier work have been thrown aside.
"We always wanted to see just how weird we can make a pop song," says singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "but I think at some point we abandoned that and just started wanting to write really good songs."
The brazen and irresistible OMNI certainly confirms this and will undoubtedly bring Minus the Bear to scores of new listeners and keep them happily on tour for the foreseeable future.
OMNI will be available on-demand April 19 through May 18, 2010.
Official artist website: minusthebear.com
1. My Time
2. Summer Angel
3. Secret Country
4. Hold Me Down
6. The Thief
7. Into the Mirror
8. Animal Backwards
9. Dayglow Vista Rd.
10. Fooled by the Night