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Minus the Bear: Menos el Oso
Minus the Bear: Menos el Oso
Artist Minus the Bear
Album Menos el Oso
Label Suicide Squeeze Records
Released 8/23/2005
Purchase www.amazon.com
Recorded over a three-month period in early 2005, Menos El Oso (Spanish for "Minus the Bear") finds the Seattle boys moving fully into the production helm of their own music, with the resulting exploration allowing the band to more critically analyze, edit, and communicate their ideas. "Producing the record ourselves allowed us to bounce ideas off one another without having to worry about the ego of a producer sitting there...this is [in every way] our own record," adds Snider.

While producing Menos El Oso, the band employed the help of some engineer friends, commandeered several studio spaces throughout the greater Seattle area, and built song structures piece by piece, choosing to add keyboards; vocals and effects only after the basic tracks were recorded. "It was a departure for us to have the music done in a really listenable form and sit in our home studios with our Pro Tools rig. I was able to write lyrics to an almost finished product," says Snider.

The departure Snider speaks of has lyrically allowed him to address more thematic, more story-driven topics. Minus The Bear's days of writing "songs about drinking and girls" are done and gone—instead replaced by tales of money as metaphor, stripped innocence and lovelorn remembrance.

With Menos El Oso, the band's focus on musical and personal growth continues. It's a multi-dimensional ride through endearment, confusion and melody, and not at all just noteworthy for funny song titles.