Minus the Bear

Review: Minus the Bear’s Infinity Overhead

Minus the Bear: Infinity OverheadMinus the Bear: Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird, 8/28/12)

“Lonely Gun”

Minus the Bear: “Lonely Gun”

Minus the Bear was one of those indie-rock bands that experienced “synth creep” as 1980s-style music came back into fashion over the past decade; its last two albums, Planet of Ice and Omni, increasingly utilized synthesizers at the expense of the mathy guitar rock for which the band was known. Its newest, Infinity Overload, is a step back towards its roots, with moments of quirkiness and energy that were largely missing from Ice and Omni.


Review: Why?’s Sod in the Seed EP

Why?: Sod in the Seed EPWhy?: Sod in the Seed (Anticon, 8/14/12)

“Sod in the Seed”

Why?: “Sod in the Seed”

With the forthcoming Mumps, Etc. LP promising another new direction for indie-hop group Why? — this time with expanded orchestration — its Sod in the Seed EP comes to whet its fans’ appetites. And though its material is nearly all exclusive to the EP (only the title track is a repeat), at six songs and 17 minutes, it’s short and distinct.

Ape School

Review: Ape School’s Junior Violence

Ape School: Junior ViolenceApe School: Junior Violence (Hometapes, 8/7/12)

“Marijuana’s on the Phone”

Ape School: “Marijuana’s on the Phone”

The second full-length from Michael Johnson (formerly of Holopaw and The Lilys) is as strangely juxtaposed as his moniker, Ape School. Peculiar placements permeate Junior Violence — his first release for Hometapes — from its name to its song titles (“A New Low! It Sucks Itself!,” “Marijuana’s on the Phone,” and “Weak in the Teeth”) to the lyrics to the instrumentation.