Empire of the Sun @ The Showbox [Seattle] - 6/18/2019

Empire of the Sun @ The Showbox [Seattle] - 6/18/2019

Empire of the Sun brought all the costumes, set props, and backup dancers you know and love for three-night, completely sold-out stop at The Showbox in Seattle, all in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their debut album Walking on a Dream.

REVIEW: Minus The Bear - Infinity Overhead

Musicians and non-musicians are always going to hear certain bands differently. Ask someone listening to Primus, Rush, or Coheed and Cambria if they’re musicians and more often than not the answer is yes. The complexity these talented songwriters bring to their music has a way of being off-putting to non-musicians – the songs are dense, complex, and frequently change tempo. It’s music that is, sadly, frequently described as  “math rock” by subtle detractors or dismissed as “prog rock” by the harsher critics.

Despite their complexity, some bands such as Seattle’s Minus the Bear manage to rub both musicians and non-musicians the right way. While MtB’s songs are by no means as complex as the bands listed above, musicians recognize and appreciate the stutter-step timings, layered sounds, and intricate guitar work, whereas non-musicians hear solid rock music that also manages to make you nod your head, if not tap your feet. In fact, it’s something of a surprise the band isn’t bigger than it is, though one could blame continuing backlash against Seattle bands for that. There’s also a certain ambience to Minus the Bear’s music that some might find off-putting or even depressing.

The quintet’s fifth album, Infinity Overhead, generally doesn’t stray from the formula.  The elaborate layering of guitars and synths is still there, clear and polished as ever thanks to the production of former band member Matt Bayles. Songs like “Diamond Lightning,” with its reversed guitars and almost symphonic wall of sounds, remain at their heart enjoyable pop songs.