By Josh Bell
With song titles like “Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse” and “I’m Totally Not Down With Rob’s Alien” and a sound that was once described in an official record-company bio as “Pele-esque guitar-taps and electronics with sophisticated time signature composition,” Minus the Bear is definitely not your typical rock band.
The Seattle quintet delivers intricate but playful indie rock, augmented by keyboards and other electronic sounds. The musicians are so adept in the studio that former keyboardist Matt Bayles left the band in 2006 to pursue producing full-time, and has worked with big-name rock acts like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Mastodon.
He’s also stuck around to produce his former bandmates, working behind the boards for recent album Infinity Overhead, which Alternative Press dubbed “the high point of their musicality.” A mix of heavy guitars, electronic beats and prog-rock weirdness, Infinity Overhead offers up everything Minus the Bear is about. Check them out in concert, and you can see how that accomplished musicality translates to a live setting.