A canary in the studio with Minus the Bear would likely die the death of the 19th century coal mine. The Seattle quintet’s sound is so expansive, yet so tight; it sucks all air from the room, manipulating the atmosphere by expanding and compressing at will.
And that airlessness, that tipping point at the precipice of a monster roller coaster, is what jettison’s Omni – Minus the Bear’s fourth long-player – from the slinky opening of “My Time,” the conjoined “Summer Angel” with its tight, fast corners, and the spring-wound “Secret Country.” While the throttle lifts over the course of the album, the flow remains breathless over the mellow hills and through the mildly banking curves, finally inhaling with the airy closer, “Fooled by the Night.”
Most impressive is Omni’s controlled chaos; swirling synths, blipping percussion, circling guitars, and elastic rhythms populate each track, whether as subtle accents or dramatic bomb blasts. Like pointillism, the details add up to a polished flow that constricts with focused determination.
Omni is the most enthralling work of Minus the Bear’s burgeoning career; a fast-paced, deliberate escapade by a group that defines confident cool.
Omni is out now on Dangerbird.