Local Wire

Minus the Bear

If there were a Grammy for "Best Song Title by a Duo or Group with Vocal," Seattle quintet Minus the Bear would've easily taken the statue every year since its 2001 inception. Among the potential winners: "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco® Twister," "Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse," and "I Lost All My Money at the Cockfights." Thing is, just as the only things people remember about GWAR are the costumes and the fake blood, MtB's song titles were getting more attention than the band's music -- an enjoyably knotty, danceable brand of math-rock with lots of guitar-tapping and Jawbox vocals. So you won't find too many zany titles on the new Menos el Oso (that's Spanish for Minus the Bear). And that's not the only change -- its songs are generally less frantic, a bit more wistful and ruminative, and definitely more electronics-laden, occasionally incorporating the cut-up folktronica style of Four Tet or the supple indie-blippery of the Postal Service. But fret not, showgoers -- you'll still get a decent dose of caffeinated guitar work, and any perceived shift toward seriousness will likely be subverted the first time someone yells out a request for "Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked."