Minus the Bear
They Make Beer Commercials Like This


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
December 22nd, 2006 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They Make Beer Commercials Like This is about as good as an EP gets. It features fantastic songs with a great variety in style and grooves. Minus the Bear shows off how well they work as a band and not just individual musicians.

I was at jazz band practice a few weeks ago; it was the first practice of the season. We all auditioned on a part of this Woody Herman funk tune called North Beach Breakdown, so we knew our parts, but this was the first time any of us had played it together. The rehearsal went well and we clicked pretty well for a first practice, but there were still imprecisions and moments where the feel got scary. My band director started talking about “the pocket,” the place where everything lines up perfectly and the true feel of a funk groove comes out. We still have not reached the full potential of “the pocket”, although things have gotten so much better and together.

Want to hear what the pocket sounds like? Take a listen to Minus the Bear. No one utilizes a groove as well as they do, not since the funkier days of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Each member of the band has incredible skill on their instrument and they know it, playing with a confidence that allows their music to propel forward and keep a quiet intensity throughout everything they play. When they let all that intensity loose, it is nearly impossible to not start bobbing your head. Start with Fine + 2 Pts. It kicks off with a catchy guitar and bass riff that relies heavily on accented downbeats. Everything fits in the pocket of time created mainly by the consistency of the drums. The verse shows a relaxed bassline and some quiet guitar playing that allows for a typical quiet verse loud chorus structure. Fine + 2 Pts is one of the best grooves Minus the Bear has ever created with its danceable handclapped drum groove and excellent guitar and bass work.

Throughout this EP, Minus the Bear set up many various grooves and feels. I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien is a laid back and drawn out track that builds throughout. Beginning with a rim click oriented drum beat, the song enters a chill setting, with a beautiful guitar melody. It still has a great amount of rhythmic complexity for its style, and it keeps the song going. The vocals are apt enough, laid back and calm. It grows throughout, eventually climaxing at a fully distorted chorus while the singer puts on an organ like effect for his voice that adds richness to the sound. Quite the opposite of I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien, Pony Up! is extremely uptempo and shows off some almost metal styled guitar riffing with the lead guitarist playing extremely fast and hammering a lot of his notes. It adds intensity to the song that allows it to build a little, but the song tapers off with an acoustic riff over the bassline and drum groove. Eventually, the acoustic riff takes the song and the EP out beautifully.

Minus the Bear show tons of talent on this EP, making excellent grooves that fit together perfectly. There is an integral sense of togetherness that makes the band extremely impressive. They also create technically challenging music at some points to further add to the songs. The guitar work is fantastic, the drum grooves are unique, and the bass further adds to that groove. When the band uses synthesizers, it adds a much needed instrumental melody. However, the EP has its flaws, mostly in the fuzzy production style. The synthesizers sometimes overpower everything and overall the sound is just a bit muffled. Still, They Make Beer Commercials Like This is about as good as an EP as short as this gets.

Recommended Tracks:
Fine + 2 Pts
Let’s Play Clowns
I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien
Pony Up!



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user ratings (373)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2006


15737 Comments


I don't have much Minus The Bear, only "We Are Not The Football Team", and I love that. I want to look into them after Chritsmas.

Good review.This Message Edited On 12.22.06

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

AnyColour74
December 22nd 2006


1054 Comments


Uh oh Electric City pulled a Zepdude. Nice review

The Door Mouse
December 22nd 2006


2092 Comments


[quote=review]No one utilizes a groove as well as they do, not since the funkier days of the Red Hot Chili Peppers[/quote] = I'm getting some of these guys.

Oh! I just pulled a myself. No I don't mean that way you pervs.

JumpTheF**kUp
December 22nd 2006


2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

These guys sound cool. The fact that they have a song entitled Hey! Is That A Ninja Up There? makes me want to listen to them.
Great review. Votes!

YDload
December 22nd 2006


1207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hey you have the same favorite tracks as i do :D

gg

trustxdialect
January 23rd 2007


1502 Comments


I like Minus the Bear, but they have some of the most idiotic song titles out there.

FA
January 24th 2007


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=trustxdialect]I like Minus the Bear, but they have some of the most idiotic song titles out there.[/quote]

which makes them all the more great

StrizzMatik
January 24th 2007


3196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Come on, no "Dog Park"? That song is brilliant. The chorus melody alone gives me chills, and the bridge? Forget it. And so does most of this EP... most likely MTB's strongest release yet, every track on this smokes it. Excellent review too, you hit it spot-on.

Digging: Finch (US) - Back to Oblivion

HighandDriving
January 12th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I picked this up a couple of days ago to finish up my MTB collection.

I really like it but all their LPs own the shit out of this.

Still its a great listen and I wonder if MTB will release any more eps?

Still can't figure out my favourite song though.

Serpento
January 12th 2008


2351 Comments


Still its a great listen and I wonder if MTB will release any more eps?
Hopefully, their EP's always seem to turn out better (with the exception of Planet of Ice.)

HighandDriving
January 16th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I boasted my rating after listening to this more, its up to par with their LPs.

PatchworkNeurology
August 6th 2008


352 Comments


Planet of Ice and this are my fav. MtB albums.

"I'm totally not down with Rob's alien" is so tight.

SpinLightTwo
May 12th 2009


1043 Comments


"Pony Up!" rules.This Message Edited On 05.12.09

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every song on here is golden

feav233
December 26th 2009


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cannot get enough of this EP. Pony Up is such an awesome song

SeaAnemone
May 1st 2010


20370 Comments


yeah I just 5'ed this. so what? wanna fight about it?

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2010


17215 Comments


no. not really.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

SeaAnemone
May 1st 2010


20370 Comments


ok good. that's surprisingly convenient.

brutebeard
September 7th 2010


1655 Comments


damn, still don't have this one

kroglor
September 10th 2012


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still my favourite release of theirs



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