Minus the Bear – They Make Beer Commercials Like This

Minus the Bear
They Make Beer Commercials Like This

In the band’s first release since its oft-acclaimed full length “Highly Refined Pirates,” Minus the Bear expands upon its already solid sound.

If you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard of Minus the Bear, this is an up-beat band comprised of a veritable group of all-stars from the Seattle indie music scene. Singer Jake Snider of Sharks Keep Moving gently croons along with the slightly “mathy” finger-tapped guitar work of ex-Botch guitarist Dave Knudson. The lyrics are generally fairly shallow, not straying too far from the topic of girls, drinking, and drinking with said girls. There is also an ongoing tendency towards using the now painfully cliché nonsensical song titles.

The CD starts out with what is probably its strongest song, “Fine +2 Points.” It is a bouncy, very danceable song with a bit of a 70s feel to it. Like all of the band’s songs, it has great guitar work and a catchy-as-hell chorus. It is followed up by the noteworthy yet tragically titled “Lets Play Clowns.” The song picks up the pace right where the last one left off, with bubbly guitar work and a driving chorus that you can’t help but sing to.

One thing fans of older Minus the Bear will find on this album is that the musicians use electronics much more, which is a very positive step for them, adding yet another dimension to the already busy music. There are a couple slower songs thrown into the mix, which are solid as well. The album comes to a close with another great song, “Pony Up.” Here is where Dave Knudsen really shines on the album. His beautiful guitar work steals the spotlight.

All in all, what we have here is a very solid EP that delivers on every song. If you liked Minus the Bear’s past efforts, you’re going to love this, and if you haven’t heard the band before, there’s no better place to start. Sure the lyrics aren’t deep or profound, but if the song titles are any indication, I doubt that’s the artist’s intent. They Make Beer Commercials Like This is a scenic, beautiful, albeit slightly shallow EP that is purely a fun listen from start to finish.