All of a sudden, this persistent and hypnotic keyboard was filling my ears, and from that moment I was hooked. The song, “Into the Mirror,” was my first exposure to Minus the Bear, who have since become a fixture on just about every playlist I’ve ever made. I listen to their music when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and I listened to their album OMNI with startling frequency during the warmer months, because that album served as the background music summer 2012. Imagine how happy I was when they released another album, Infinity Overhead, that August!
I may have discovered them a bit later than the majority of their fanbase, they’ve been involved in the indie scene in Seattle since the early aughts, but it doesn’t change how important they are to me.
So, reader, imagine my distress when I read the news: Minus the Bear would be no more by the end of 2018.
The band has decided that their career, at least as Minus the Bear, has come to its natural conclusion, and as a result have released one last EP, will be embarking on a farewell tour, and then calling it quits.
There’s something to be said for knowing when it’s time to go home. There are so many bands who are still churning out music, but to what end?
For example, I’m a pretty big U2 fan, but I’d be hard pressed to say that they’ve made anything great since Pop in 1997, and anything that qualifies as decent since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in 2004.
But one can say with confidence that Minus the Bear is still making great music. Their last album, VOIDS, released in spring of 2017, became one of my favourites of theirs. It still retained that very tight Minus the Bear sound, but they had matured. And if the single off of their last EP, both titled Fair Enough, is any indication, they fully intend to continue marrying the style of their past with their present maturity.
There aren’t many bands who can decide when they can go out, and when they can get out and still be on top. Some break up very explosively, some simply fade away into obscurity, and in those instances it could easily be said that it wasn’t entirely unanimous. But here, Jake Snider, Dave Knudson, Alex Rose, and Cory Murchy are all having their say.
I’m sure we’ll still see all four of them in various capacities. And of course, people are already talking reunion tours and you can never say never. The Replacements, who famously broke up in 1991 (their last show had each member leaving the stage and having a roadie replace them) reunited for a charity album in 2012. They ended up playing a few shows together before ultimately reforming and then going on tour. Unfortunately, they would break up literally on that same reunion tour, but not every band is blessed with Paul Westerberg and his antics.
But it’s too early to talk reunions when Minus the Bear haven’t even done their final curtain call yet. If you can, please go and check them out on this tour! I know that I personally will be trying to make my way to the Toronto show in October, so I hope if you’re in the area that I will see you there!
Their final EP, Fair Enough, is available for pre-purchase on iTunes, and tickets for their final shows are on sale. You can check out their website for Farewell Tour dates, though it’s worth noting that a few of their shows are sold out – primarily the first two of three in their hometown of Seattle.