Minus the Bear
Planet of Ice


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
August 15th, 2007 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Snakes & Arrows" done right.

Minus the Bear gets mad pussy. Well, at least according to Minus the Bear. With Highly Refined Pirates and Menos el Osos, MTB took an intensely methodical and mathy songwriting approach to create music about sex in pools and Atavan. So, what do you do when you’ve gotten more vagina than John Holmes? I guess if you’re Minus the Bear you make a progressive rock album. But, doesn’t that kind of make their tales of romance and drinks on yachts seem a little bit false? I mean Geddy Lee certainly isn’t sneaking into neighbor’s pools and smothering some teen girl with his manhood. So, with Planet of Ice we have a paradox: a bunch of really cool people that are really into progressive rock. And this isn’t just some half assed progressive rock like say you might find on a Chiodos record. No, Planet of Ice is two hand tapping, throwing down five effects at once and drawing out songs to the brinks of seven minutes. Sure, the sex is still present but it isn’t the focus. With Planet of Ice the boys from Seattle have left the Kama Sutra at the door and have decided to give themselves some massive self pleasure. Strange enough masturbation has led them to make their best album yet.

The most key addition on this album is Alex Rose. Synth has always been present on Minus the Bear tracks, but with Planet of Ice the synth is moved to the forefront almost as a challenge to prolific guitarist Dave Knudson. Opener “Burying Luck” demonstrates this perfectly as the verse is heavy with Knudson’s traditional spliced up looping methods but then as the chorus and bridge hit we are filled with more synth than even Wendy Carlos could throw at us. It is epic, interesting, and most importantly different from anything that Minus the Bear has done. I mean even vocalist Jake Snider lets out a few screams on the opener. Maybe we should just place our hopes of a Botch reunion on this band’s next output.

I know that last comparison was out of place but every track on this album is different and there is so much variety. Songs like “Ice Monster” and “When We Escape” bring the hooky choruses that Minus the Bear was known for, while “Knights” and “Lotus” show off how to use a reverb pedal the right way. "Part 2" is completely different from anything MTB has done yet cycling through beautiful acoustic strumming and heavy sampling. Basically, Planet of Ice encompasses every aspect of Minus the Bear’s old sound and creates some new ones to make one of the finest and most sophisticated “pop” albums, released this year or even decade. Much like Battles’ Mirrored, MTB bring a well founded knowledge of technicality and presses it hard into catchy, adrenaline boosting tracks.

So, gone are open condom wrappers and empty pounders of PBR and with them it seems we lost MTB’s youthful expression. The band clearly reaches for some respectability with this album and the serious tone is welcomed but also sad. No one quite does drinking songs like Minus the Bear so let’s hope maybe they decide to venture back into that realm on a future album. For now though I’m satisfied so I’ll just sit back with a bong load and listen to my generation’s 21:12.



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user ratings (1371)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
kevin234 (5)
This could be MTB's best....

specialk21 (5)
"Planet of Ice" is an impressively cohesive and grand album, characterized by arguably the most inve...

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4.5)
This album brings new elements to the Minus the Bear sound while still maintaining their fun, catchy...

Mark Campbell (4.5)
Menos El Oso was some great foreplay, but this is the pure ear sex that cooks you breakfast afterwar...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
August 15th 2007


2647 Comments


Minus the Bear have never really made an impression on me until I heard this album. "Knights" and "Ice Monster" are the highlights for me.

Skyler
August 15th 2007


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm actually streaming this right now. Ice Monster is a fantastic song.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


7926 Comments


So, what do you do when you’ve gotten more vagina than John Holmes?

Aids?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007


16089 Comments


Tbh that makes little actual sense when you look at what pixies said.
I plan on checking this out soon. Good review although Tyler did have an actual advanced copy...

pixiesfanyo
August 15th 2007


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Welp. He can submit his review still..

The Jungler
August 15th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've never listened to Minus The Bear before, but I'll probably try it out eventually. Great review.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007


16089 Comments


Are you reviewing the Ghastly City Sleep album pixies?

pixiesfanyo
August 15th 2007


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes.

chimera908
August 15th 2007


713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow I gotta check out this stream.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of my favourite albums of 2007 so far. Nice review too.

StrizzMatik
August 15th 2007


3229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really good review. Mine is a friggin' monster but you get all the important points. As for my opinion of the record, read my review... if you can get through it, that is. ;)

204409
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hey mods, for some reason, "Dr. L'ling" isn't connected to this album. Maybe a typo?

iamrockzorz
August 15th 2007


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GOD DAMN IT. i added Ghastly city sleep so i could review it lol. oh well you're write it better than i.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Throwin' Shapes should be connected to this album too. Anyway, my review will be pretty pointless when I release it but I guess I'm obligated to do so.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007


16089 Comments


Album was sick 1st listen.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


4956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album sounds a lot like The Flower Kings, except not as extravagant and stupid... Really digging it so far - this stuff is definitely leaps and bounds above their previous work.This Message Edited On 08.15.07

tribestros
August 15th 2007


918 Comments


After listening to this album, I was wowed. What a great album. Then I listened to their older stuff.

Yet more wow.

Easily some of the most original, epic, and great music I've heard in a long time.

When I discover stuff like this courtesy of Sputnik, this makes me happy that I'm a member of this website.This Message Edited On 08.15.07

ChrisWyatt
August 16th 2007


88 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Word to that, ill check this out

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 16th 2007


2125 Comments


Never been a big fan of this band, I'll check out the stream though,

jimay333
August 16th 2007


433 Comments


HAHA LOVED the review. Best one I've read in a long time. Funny too. Good job! I like the record too, it's fantabulous.



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