Following the success of Highly Refined Pirates' forward-thinking guitar gymnastics and Menos el Oso's groundbreaking glitch rock, Seattle's premier pop revisionists Minus the Bear dug into some of rock music's most ostentatious years for inspiration for their 2007 album, Planet of Ice. The title alone conjures images of Yes's Relayer album art, and the influence of the elder statesmen's symphonic scope can be felt throughout Planet of Ice's lush and intricate arrangements. You can also hear the band channel the ominous instrumental interplay of Lamb-era Genesis on "Dr. L'Ling," the deceptively savvy musicianship and pristine production of Steely Dan on "White Mystery," and the tightrope walk between ethereal space and pre-metal riffage of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" on "Lotus." Not that Minus the Bear completely abandoned their earlier style—elements of Menos el Oso's sample-driven technique can be heard on the lead single "Knights." But the heart of the song ultimately belongs to the haunting Fripp-esque guitar lines spliced between verses.
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