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Minus The Bear – Lost Loves | Album Review

Lost Loves compiles ten tracks that Minus Bear couldn’t quite let go of. Find out if we thought they were worth saving here.

minus the bear lost loves album cover

Source: Album Cover

Lost Loves couldn’t be a more fitting name for the new release from Minus The Bear, an album which compiles rare and unreleased tracks from the band’s past. Some date back to 2007’s Planet of Ice, and have appeared as bonus tracks on that album and 2010’s Omni. Others have never been heard before, but they all sound equally fresh thanks to the band’s decision to rerecord and remaster large portions of them. The results are a compilation that has a cohesion most bands would struggle to achieve on their regular albums.

It opens with Electric Rainbow’, a track that originally appeared in 2007. The production feels more crisp that it did before – as the chorus explodes the angular lead guitar line feels like it has more room to breathe, sitting more comfortably under the vocal. It’s a subtle improvement, but it’s enough to make this interesting for someone who’s already got the track. The band have made the decision not to sequence the tracks chronologically, with an out-take from 2012’s Infinity Overhead coming next. This helps things feel a little more natural by not creating any obvious difference in style as the album progresses. The attention to detail makes it clear where the ‘Love’ comes from in the title. This isn’t just some throwaway release.

On most b-sides compilations it’s clear why the songs were left on the cutting room floor. They’re usually reserved for the superfans and collectors, with the general public being able to see why the tracks never saw the light of day in the first place. That isn’t the case here, though, a lot of care has been put into making Lost Loves feel like a full release in its own right. The songs hit the right balance between math rock guitar gymnastics and hooky accessibility, and could even serve well as an introduction to the band, giving a good overview of their evolving style over the past few years.

It would almost be unfair to associate this album with the baggage that comes with a b-sides collection – the idea that these are songs that weren’t good enough to make their respective albums. Sometimes a song just doesn’t fit the vision or the sequencing that the artist had in mind when putting the album together, and that feels like the case here. Lost Loves stands alone as an album, and a very fine one at that.

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