Minus the Bear

Planet of Ice | Suicide Squeeze
By MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG  |  September 18, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
On their early releases, the Seattle fivesome Minus the Bear seemed more serious about their music than about its presentation. Their deft, often pyretic indie rock came wrapped in packages with titles like “Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo.” But in 2005, on Menos El Oso, they began to jettison some of the silliness as they gave in to slicker production. Planet of Ice is the next logical step: the last vestiges of mischief have been replaced by a heavy dose of angst. It’s a change that suits frontman Jake Snider’s agreeable tenor, which brings to mind that of Jawbox’s J. Robbins. And he’s never sounded quite so bitter and damaged: “Watched you get in the taxi, your hands on another man/You must be crazy if you think I’ll stand back,” he intones in “Dr. L’Ling,” and in “Ice Monster,” “I could give fuck all what you do to me/Your party’s over, it’s done, the end.” Synths murmur and writhe over drummer Erin Tate’s adroit polyrhythms, and there are loads of guitars — heavily processed ones that nuzzle, wobble, and tumble, and only rarely bite. That’s unfortunate, because Minus the Bear are at their best when they let down their guard and allow a little heat to penetrate their Planet of Ice.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Jawbox, Minus the Bear, Minus the Bear
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