Review Summary: Armed with one new track, Minus The Bear only fire a few surprising shots.
There really isn’t much behind Minus The Bear’s EP entitled Acoustics
. After all, it is what it is; six previously recorded tracks and one brand spankin’ new track with acoustic guitars and modest percussion. Beyond that, it was easy to see Minus the Bear going acoustic due to their intricate and soothing indie/progressive rock with that almost emotionally numb attachment.
begins with their new track, “Guns & Ammo,” a definitive highlight of the album. One of the most impressive qualities of “Guns & Ammo” is cohesiveness and how refreshing the sound is initially. After all, it is the first real taste of Minus The Bear in an acoustic sense. Anyway, regardless of the apparent repetitiveness, something that Minus The Bear regularly pull off successfully, this track thrives on it. Additionally “Guns & Ammo” is one of the more diverse tracks without reaching into a more progressive sound. Between the bridge and the perfect pace of the song, it makes you wonder why they did not record seven new tracks that would compliment “Guns & Ammo.”
Instead, I wondered how they would incorporate the progressive elements from their last full-length, Planet of Ice
, and integrate it into Acoustics
. Of the tracks transcribed, “Knights” seemed to be the most challenging. Between the effects and progressive nature of the track, the stripped down track played off well, actually better than that. The technicality of “Knights” is still there, along with the incredible precision. “Knights” sounds tighter with acoustic guitars perhaps due to the removal of wailing guitar work. The synth-laden “Burying Luck” also went through major changes, switching to a more classical piano driving along with Jake Snider’s vocals sounding rather ordinary without that fire that drove “Burying Luck” so far on Planet of Ice
As expected with Acoustics
, important little details tend to be omitted. Take “Pachuca Sunrise,” which was a track that begun with delay guitar effects on the initial recording that created a whimsical sound, but instead on Acoustics
the note is simply held down. Otherwise, “Pachuca Sunrise” barely misses a beat and if anything, sounds better than ever with a more natural sound. The last track, “Ice Monster,” incorporates different percussion instruments like maracas and tambourines, behind Snider’s best vocal work on the album, in a track that claps its way to the end of Acoustics
What to take away from Acoustics
is a new light to view Minus The Bear. After all, they are generally a relaxing band to listen to that stays within a certain boundary. In all, Acoustics
highlights their work that is typically overshadowed by their use of effects, but the resulting sound was hardly a major surprise. Overall, Acoustics
is tabbed as another steady and consistent release by Minus The Bear. I guess that works.