Minus the Bear Finds Humanity in 'Alien'

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien"
  • Artist: Minus the Bear
  • CD: They Make Beer Commercials Like This
  • Genre: Indie-Pop
Minus the Bear 300

Minus the Bear lends its instrumental intricacy to a warmly rendered reflection on youthful solitude. courtesy of Minus the Bear hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Minus the Bear

At first blush, Minus the Bear's music isn't going for emotional breakthroughs: Between its clinical, intricate instrumentation and its goofy song titles, the band would seem to reside in a land of Primus and prog-rock. But the mystifyingly titled "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien" — from the newly remastered and reissued 2004 EP They Make Beer Commercials Like This — houses a gorgeous, warmly rendered reflection on alienation and the bliss of youthful solitude.

Without sacrificing Minus the Bear's gift for dazzlingly precise guitar work, "Rob's Alien" stands out mostly for the way it both sets a distinct scene ("And I'll swim out as far as I can / and float on my back / just waiting for nothing") and distills an angst-filled adolescence into a few well-chosen phrases ("I hope they never come back to this house / It's a lot more fun alone"). Minus the Bear hits a broad array of musical marks, as always, but "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien" proves that humanity serves it well, too.

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