Minus the Bear, currently enjoying a mostly sold-out tour with These Arms Are Snakes, are fresh on the heels of their latest (and only 2nd full length) release, Menos el Oso. With this release, the band continues its math-rock ways with 11 tracks of fully layered guitar driven pseudo-rock guaranteed to get the listener either moving, or drinking heavily.
The outing doesn't necessarily stretch its proverbial legs in the way of venturing out stylistically (not a bad thing), but what it does is show the band as, if this is even possible, more musically mature. These songs are layered, well played, and well written. It's hard to imagine Minus the Bear doing something substandard, and this release holds just as true.
The album starts out with "The Game Needed Me", the band's first single (there is also a video accessible through their website for the song). It is a song that at first throws the listener off. Those who know Minus the Bear will like it, but it is somewhat hard to compare to older material, hence the references to a more mature sound. "Memphis and 53rd", as well as "Drilling", find the band in more familiar territory, with the latter stepping out into what could be described as the closest resemblance to the band's older material. The album continues on through a range of familiar, yet somehow stronger sounding material in songs like "Pachuca Sunrise", "El Torrente", with it's electronica undertones, and "Fulfill the Dream", complete with it's lightning fast guitar-picking breakdown.
This release, like much of Minus the Bear's previous material, is nearly flawless. The band has tapped into such an original sound, with their layered, single-note guitar playing, driving drums, and superior bass lines, that not many can argue with them. Oh, and the vocals are pretty much flawless as well. This is a band that continues to completely impress, and has only gotten stronger with each release they have put out.