Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm Becoming A Casual Business Man On Matters Of The Heart

First of all, I'm happy to report that Atlanta's finest were able to apprehend the miscreants who lifted Frank's belongings. (Update: See Frank's Comment). I haven't heard yet whether any of the goods were recovered, but one way or another, I expect that we should be getting an update from him before too much longer.

A lot of really good music came out yesterday, but before we fall all over ourselves in a mad rush of new posts here at TTT (kidding), I wanted to make sure that a recent favorite doesn't fall through the cracks.

Seattle's Minus The Bear seem typically to be grouped in with the standard indie fair, although their new record, Planet Of Ice, is pretty far removed from it. Technical precision, complex time signatures, synthesizers, a tendency to avoid common (verse - chorus - verse) song structures, seven and eight minute songs, contrapuntal guitars; all of these are arguably somewhat foreign to your typical indie band, yet perfectly at home on Planet Of Ice.

In fact, throw the head phones on and MTB just may take you back to your lost days of prog rock, a trip that is surprisingly refreshing. As the band encourages the listener to "Take a step back, man / Take a step back and turn yourself around" on "Ice Monster," I found myself perfectly willing to comply. It's hard not to get sucked right in on the opener "Burying Luck," which somehow bears kinship (at least to my ears) to some of the less pop tracks on Ghost In The Machine.

The aptly named Planet Of Ice presents a cold emotional landscape, in which relationships are bargained ("A piece of you for a piece of me / It's hard coded") and the most sensual songs ("White Mystery") are underscored by near robotically precise guitar playing and somewhat passionless, but more than proficient singing. It all adds up to a sound that is distinctly different from the music that is normally discussed on blogs like this, a difference that I have found fairly addictive. Just pack a heavy coat before you set out.

MP3: Minus The Bear - "Ice Monster" from Planet Of Ice