Minus the Bear
Suicide Squeeze Records · October 19, 2018
Fair Enough tells a fantastic short story and will leave listeners wanting more, only to realize that they’ll never get it.
After almost 20 years of work together, Minus the Bear are departing on a farewell tour, their last act together as a band. The tour is in support of their new EP, Fair Enough, which brings four new tracks to fans of the group. The lengthy, crazy song titles are long gone, but the lyrical masterclass still remains. This EP tells a fantastic short story and will leave listeners wanting more, only to realize that they’ll never get it.
It kicks off with the title song, ‘Fair Enough,’ which is solid and serves as a good opening to set listeners up for the rest of the album. The lyrics tell the story of a fight between partners, with the lines “You throw my words at me like a stone and spit my lies back in my bloodied face,” finishing off the song hauntingly. It’s depressing. The whole EP is. But it’s also so much more than that.
The real star is ‘Viaduct,’ a beautiful rock anthem about longing for the return of a lost love. Working with ‘Fair Enough,’ the EP crafts a story about not being able to get over the end of a relationship. Its rocking chorus will have you chanting “Remember the night when we came home?” in your head throughout the day.
Next up is ‘Dinosaur,’ which contains odd instrumentals, but still serves a lyrical purpose in the album. Its lyrics use the metaphor of the meteor taking out the dinosaurs to represent watching something crash and burn without doing anything to stop it. Context implies that it continues the story from the first two songs. It adds that this unidentified person who is not over their relationship reflects that they could have done something to stop it, but didn’t, and just waited for it to end. But the atonal intro sets the rest of the song up poorly, and that sticks with the listener throughout.
Last up is ‘Invisible – Sombear Remix.’ The original ‘Invisible’ came out in 2017 as a single, but this time around Minus the Bear collaborated with artist Brad Hale, aka Sombear, to remix it. While the original sounds more like a typical Minus the Bear song, the remix is invariably the better track. It creates a more welcoming atmosphere with its synth riff, and it provides a nice closing touch that brings the listener back up from the depressing mood that envelops the rest of the EP. The whole EP is produced beautifully, particularly the ‘Invisible’ remix. The sounds pop out at you and each instrument is crisp. The fingerpicking in ‘Viaduct’ comes out clear as day and takes the song to a whole new level.
Without question, the best part of the album is the lyrics. Jake Snider creates a beautiful story that captures the listener’s attention as they go through the album. But not to go without mention are the guitar solos in ‘Fair Enough’ and ‘Viaduct.’ They serve to remind the fans what the band brings technically and is reminiscent of the solo from 2010’s ‘Into the Mirror.’
Overall, the EP is an excellent piece of work, and it is fitting for Minus the Bear to go out with a bang. The lyrics and the story that Jake Snider created for this last hurrah craft an atmosphere that takes the casual listener for a ride, and the longtime fan to the brink of tears as the band says goodbye.