Itâ€™s been more than three years since Minus the Bearâ€™s last release. But while thatâ€™s not a tremendous amount of time for most bands to release an album, for Minus the Bear the time off almost put them on the edge of indie obscurity.Â
And what an unfair label that would have been for this illustriously talented band.Â
On their fourth studio album, â€œOmni,â€ Minus the Bear still incorporates all of the electronic ambience that their previous albums have delivered but this time with more clarity than previously displayed.Â
The band mostly ditches its signature effect-driven guitar work on â€œMy Time,â€ the opening track and first single from the album, and instead uses a heavy amount of synthesizers that gives the track more of an â€˜80s pop feel. Needless to say itâ€™s different enough to keep the faithful listening and catchy enough to intrigue the strangers.
â€œHold Me Downâ€ is a little more loyal to the sound that fans have come to expect while still offering plenty of new quirks to the track. The guitar work is quick with just enough zest to keep the song fresh in the ears.
More of a jam band song, â€œExcusesâ€ is a nice change of pace, featuring enough of a spacey feel to be able to just sit back and listen to the track without feeling angst.
â€œThe Thiefâ€ is a nice electro-dance song with an infectious guitar riff that plays throughout the entire song and a drum beat that could cause people to get up and dance.
â€œOmniâ€ might be different than what some people expect from Minus the Bear, but itâ€™s not a bad album. In fact, itâ€™s an incredible album with perhaps the best equalization by the band as far as music and vocals go.Â
Maybe a few winter naps was all Minus the Bear needed to produce a record with enough staying power to get them a little more noticed.
Music reviewer Ian Mahan can be reached at email@example.com.