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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Minus the Bear
They Make Beer Commercials Like This EP
Arena Rock Recording Company

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
To borrow a line from Larry Burns, "I tell ya, I don't get no regard, no regard at all. No esteem, either."

This may as well be on the business card of Minus the Bear. I feel like they are deserving of much more credit than they seem to get. Comments seem to range from mediocre to just plain mean, and I, for one, feel this is unfair.

For my money, Minus the Bear is as good as any of their contemporaries, they just get a bad rap due to novel song titles. Give me one of them over 10 of the same-sounding, pop-punk, hyper-hyphenated "heartbreaker" bands of our day. Please don't heckle the hecklers: I'd much rather laugh than weep uncontrollably.

There should be a common ground, here, to be set: Minus the Bear knows how to be melodic and get you singing along almost instantly. They do so while being a little rougher around the edges, and there's a lot to be said for that.

"Fine + 2 Pts" emphasizes this point exactly. It is easily absorbable, fuzzy and slyly robotic. Its steely melody is made to seep into one's brain, and its subtle intricacy sneaks up on you as it moves along. "Let's Play Clowns" picks up the momentum from there, in a much-loved fashion akin to "Spritz!!! Spritz!!!" - its brand of infectious rock increases the volume of the disc, and allows for surprise eruptions of noise at any given point.

Whether in the lump-throated discontent of the Burning Airlines take, "Dog Park," the mellow, textured moodiness of "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien," or the silly, sarcastic space-trotting of "Hey! Is that a Ninja Up There?," melody and instrumentation are always shoving to see who gets shotgun. This dynamic makes for a sincerely enjoyable, multi-dimensional EP, and hopefully a rightfully earned badge of respect for Minus the Bear.

They Make Beer Commercials Like This is the best thing they've done - and that's good enough for me.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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