Minus the Bear

With MewithoutYou and Russian Circles. Sunday, May 14, at the Grog Shop.

Minus the Bear
Minus the Bear is in tricky territory. The Seattle quintet of ex-hardcore and math-metal allstars is building momentum with its sophomore album, Menos el Oso, but has also signaled its intent to ascend the slippery slope of "maturity." The Bear is refining its sound by dialing up the pop sheen and cutting back on the hardcore and metal-informed dynamics. Can they keep moving up without overreaching their songwriting limits and turning out the kind of vanilla pap that signaled that Piebald and the Get Up Kids had lost their way?

For Minus the Bear, it's steady sailing so far. Verses that were mired in proggy noodling on the debut, Highly Refined Pirates, have been given a more efficient disco beat on Menos el Oso. (Though hipsters call it dance-punk, we know better.) While Pirates' choruses seemed too much in love with riff-heavy breakdowns and bombastic drum work, Menos relies on increasingly adroit harmonies between Jake Snyder's earnest tenor and Dave Knudson's jangly guitar, achieving a more mellifluous, soaring effect.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.