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Minus the Bear

Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird)

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Nov. 2, 2012

Fun Fun Fun Fest Friday Reviews

Minus the Bear

Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird)

Minus the Bear: emo, indie, prog? Eighties revivalists? As with polymaths, there's no straight answer from this Seattle quintet. Jake Snider and his gang alchemize angular guitar riffs, Reagan-era synth, nonstandard tempos, arena-ready melodies, and a heart-on-sleeve libretto into a mélange that feels familiar but unique. "Steel and Blood" and "Zeroes" will rock technique nerds and air musicians, while "Diamond Lightning" and "Heaven Is a Ghost Town" should please lighter-waving couples. "Lonely Gun" dances out its melancholy mood, "Empty Party Rooms" mashes heartbreak into slow-jam seduction, and "Listing" jumps into sing-a-long pop. The band threatens to be as precious as a teddy bear, especially during ballads, and often feels too eager to show off its many mastered styles, but consistency and sincerity keep Minus the Bear from descending into showboating dilettantism. (Fri., Orange stage, 6pm)

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