In the music business five years might as well be a lifetime. Careers can be born and die in far less and the landscape can become almost unrecognisable. For many this could bring a halt to proceedings, but for Minus The Bear this breathing space was what was needed to flip the reset switch and create sixth studio album ‘VOIDS’.
In a time where song writing is almost scientific, the only formula Minus The Bear seemingly follow is that there is no formula at all. With a clean slate to build upon, the dreamy openings of ‘List Kiss’ land in a dizzying, sprawling soundscape unfolding to soaring pop choruses. They mean business and show it from the offset steamrolling through the brilliantly syncopated ‘Give & Take’ and ‘Call The Cops’. ‘Invisible’ could be a career defining moment and, with vocal melodies and guitar lines fighting for dominance, produces the catchiest hooks ‘VOIDS’ has to offer.
There are elements of electronica woven throughout, no more so than in the sophisticated ‘Erase’. While the math-rock feel of Minus The Bear’s earlier stylings creep through on ‘What About The Boat?’, with drums that could almost trip over themselves at any moment. By the climatic crescendo of ‘Lighthouse’, so much ground has been covered with so many genres straddled, it’s easy to forget where you started. With the range of stylings flawlessly performed this could almost be a compilation, if not for the familiar vocal tones of Jake Snider and Alex Rose.
Sometimes music is as much about what’s missing as it is what’s there and, at times, Minus The Bear could do well to remember this. Ironically, at points, ‘VOIDS’ seems a little busy however this can be forgiven as five years of ideas force their way out from one of the most talented and innovative bands around. ‘VOIDS’ will have something for everyone while staying true to their unconventional yet blisteringly brilliant catalogue to date.
‘VOIDS’ by Minus The Bear is released on 3rd March on Suicide Squeeze Records.
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Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)