Listen Up: Wednesday, November 21, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Minus The Bear

Highly Refined Pirates (Suicide Squeeze Records)

By Matt Smith

The prevailing wisdom goes that mainstream music is a wasteland and independent music is a goldmine. And indeed, only a few of this year’s major-label releases are worth a flip. But beware: “Independent” doesn’t automatically mean “of good quality.” Five minutes ago, few reading this knew there was such a thing as Minus The Bear — proof that blissful ignorance can be a good thing.

Unfortunately, Fort Worth Weekly editors don’t consider “it sucks” to be a proper review, so let me expound. (But, please, feel free to move on to another article. You won’t miss much.) Minus The Bear calls its music “math rock.” What, beyond a meaningless marketing label, is math rock? Forced to hazard a guess, I might cite the chilly, standoffish qualities of the Cars, Talking Heads, or Kraftwerk. Problem there is that Minus the Bear possess neither the talent nor sound of any of the above. Instead they make snoozy, Novocain mush about drinking wine, driving around, and, well, that’s about it. The cute titles (“Booyah Achieved,” “You Kill Bugs Good, Man”) elicit far more interest than the actual songs they probably inspired.

The closest parallel is to imagine ’80s-era Top-40 blandness supported by the faintest scintilla of limp synth pop and new wave. Maybe this album was meant to waft over supermarket sound systems while good little consumers wander through a fluorescent-lit daze in search of lettuce and ice cream.

Listening to this disc, you’ll probably feel a vague curiosity as to why such bands even exist and an uneasy sensation over time wasted worrying over such pointless triviality. At this point, I could discuss each song and relay buffo band bio bits, but, trust me, you don’t care.

Remember that cop show where a policeman says to a passerby, “Move along, nothing to see here”? Good advice.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions