Minus the Bear’s new album Infinity Overhead has to be considered among the contenders for Album of the Year.

While 2010’s Omni was a solid but slightly uneven affair, Infinity Overhead is a more consistent record throughout (although Omni’s lulls were few).

Opener Steel and Blood pairs the band’s signature flittery guitars, keyboards and ever-changing time signatures, while Jake Snider sings about the ‘cacophony of a car crash’.

Lies and Eyes is up next, led by its stop-start rhythms and waterfalling, echoing guitar chords. This song was played a few weeks back at a special gig at the Sonos Studio in L.A., and is one of the strongest on the album  – here’s the video:

http://youtu.be/PN4hm8WWJGE

Throughout this album MTB are at their very best, whether at a relaxed pace (Diamond Lightning, Heaven is a Ghost Town, Listing, Empty Party Rooms) or faster tempo (Zeros, Lonely Gun & Toska, one of the best songs on the record, thanks to its delicious synth/finger-tapping bridge).

http://youtu.be/Yol7-ZNZ024

Album-closer Cold Company is just gorgeous, keyboards and finger-tapping again providing quite an atmosphere for the song’s versatility – tempo changes, resilient drums with impressively technical flourishes, crunchy riffs giving way to melodic passages, and so on.

I’ve listened to Infinity Overhead about 15 times in the past week, but that total could easily have been higher had I given in to the allure of listening over and over again – it’s that good.

Minus the Bear seem to have a legacy of releasing albums that polarize fans with directional changes, as Omni did with some of its less-experimental leanings, but Infinity Overhead is the whole package – engaging melodies, finger-tapping, complex percussion (and some stellar drum work from Erin Tate), and 10 more great songs to add to their canon.

Five albums in to their career, Minus the Bear have honed in on their starkly unique sound – who can you really say they sound like, creatively? That’s the true sign of a gifted group of musicians, and listening to this album you can really only liken it to Minus the Bear – such is the resonance of their particular style of music.

Pick up Infinity Overhead if you’ve been a fan of the band for a while or are looking to get into them – it’s a well-rounded and expertly-crafted set of songs poised to do big things for the band.

Past articles on MTB:

Review of their Trobuadour gig in November 2011

Omni Album Review

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AuthorCheese Sandwich