I've come to terms with the fact that Minus the Bear won't make another Highly Refined Pirates, and once I stop hoping for it, everything after doesn't seem sub-par, just different. While the Seattle indie outfit and guitar-loop addicts came close to masterpiece on 2007's Planet of Ice, they've done nothing but diversify their sound since Pirates, and that's a good thing.
On Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird Records), vocalist Jake Snider chills out and the guitars retake the reins after 2010's synth-pop experiment Omni got everyone worried they were soundtracking pornos. It's a return to familiar territory, with more of a self-conscious lyrical approach and filled with dreamy guitar loops.
"Diamond Lightning" is the quintessential Minus the Bear song. There's one like it on every album, not because it follows a formula, but it just sounds so good. That spacey intro and outro, a familiar rise and fall in the vocals and an easy-to-grasp structure and melody "Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse" did best, and first. I mean, different.
Minus the Bear plays the Top Hat Tue., Sept. 11, at 10 PM. $25/$20 advance.