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Minus the Bear: Intricate but Heartfelt

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Minus the Bear

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Minus the Bear's brightly appealing indie-pop may be dispensed with remarkable technical prowess — complete with precise guitar work and complex time changes — but it also benefits from the band's sweetly personal lyrics and flair for writing power-pop hooks.

By the time the Seattle band's full-length debut, Highly Refined Pirates, was released in 2002, Minus the Bear had built a cult following for its sophisticated music — as well as disarmingly tongue-in-cheek song titles such as "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister." Menos el Oso, the group's sophomore effort, appeared in 2005, further streamlining Minus the Bear's intricate sound; a remix disc, Interpretaciones del Oso, followed earlier this year. The group's new album, Planet of Ice (out next month), maintains an organic quality that allows the songs' innate catchiness to shine through.

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