10 years since the release of their debut album ‘Highly Refined Pirates’, Indie band, ‘Minus the Bear’ find themselves in a sensitive era of their musical careers. 4 albums under their belt, gaining more recognition and praise with every new release, a strong following of fans assembling and a burning desire to make a new record. Some might say if it aint broke don’t fix it, and the band should continue doing what they have been. Others would argue to keep the sound fresh and new and even more exciting. A headache of a dilemma, but with the production expertise of former keyboardist Matt Bayles new album ‘Infinity Overhead’ which is released on September 3rd looks as if it will please everyone. That is if the first single ‘Steel and Blood’ is anything to go by.
Built on a solid and impressive composition, as are all their tracks, ‘Steel Blood’ is a return to their more familiar sound of slight distortion, soft rifts and reliable Caleb Followill esq vocals that fans everywhere got to know and love through their earlier work. Twin those with catchy lyrics and a strong bass line the only criticism is the release date as had this album been released in June it would have been the perfect sound for a window down, summer days drive. Thanks to the upside down nature of British weather the chances of that situation being possible this autumn are just as likely as they are unlikely but this is a track that can be enjoyed anywhere.
The first few verses are steady and melodic before the structure collapses (in a good way of course), you are treated to long bent notes rather than the traditional punchy solos and the song feels as if its falling down the rabbit hole as you are bombarded with instruments before being rescued from the madness of wonderland by the already familiar chorus repeated over a rousing rift that would be advisable to skip should you be listening in your car, as crashing as a result of air drumming will do no favours at all to your insurance.
It is fair to say that ‘Minus the Bear’ made the right choice with this album, remaining true to what they are and making songs that they are good at making. Many other artists see the ten year mark as a time for change or world revolution, and maybe more of them should follow in the footsteps of the Seattle five piece. Good songs that, in reality, aren’t going to take the world by storm, but will put a skip in the step of people who listen and with that undoubtedly being the intention nobody would argue that these guys have succeed.