When they first emerged in 2001 from the ashes of Botch, Kill Sadie and Sharks Keep Moving, Minus the Bear quickly garnered a reputation as "that tapping band with disco beats and funny song titles. The band were respected but also pigeonholed immediately. Their second full-length release, 2005s Menos el Oso, saw them take a pretty significant step away from the clichés of their earliest recordings and with Planet of Ice, they have managed to cement themselves as startlingly original purveyors of epic-sounding, technologically-aided math pop, with heart. Opener "Burying Luck sound most similar to their former selves, with its cutting chorus, start-stop feel and slick-voiced dance party. Still producing head-scratching guitar parts with songs like "Knights, the band are at their best when they allow themselves room to play, as on the six-minute-plus "Dr. LLing. Moving from slow, gentle atmospheric pop to virtuosic prog rock guitar/keyboard battles, the song highlights the best the band have to offer. A little harder to get immediately into than past releases, Planet of Ice presents a band worth dedicating some time to as they continue adding new layers of sonic depth to their peerless genre mash-up.
Click here to read a web exclusive interview with Minus the Bear's drummer Erin Tate.