CD Reviews

MINUS THE BEAR

This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic

(Suicide Squeeze Records)

Local heavy hitters chill, tell all about shorties and 40s.

Post-hardcore enthusiasts Kill Sadie and Botch disseminate tons of disruptive emotion into sudden, violent jabs, then pur饠that formula into even more unsettling heavy rock. A cross sample from these bands (and the far less brutal Sharks Keep Moving) has defied expectations by forming Minus the Bear and creating this relaxed, promising group of barhopping ditties. Guitarist David Knudson checks the confounding time changes that fuel Botch just enough to let your toes tap the rhythms, and superproducer Matt Bayles, whose conspicuous tinkering improves upon already compelling arrangements, helps out by adding ethereal electronica input. Everyone gets to shine. Bayles' trancelike club pulse is a perfect complement to the trembling instrumental "Just Kickin' It Like a Wild Donkey." Cory Murchy's deep-sea bass brings all the players in sync for the tumbling outro of "Lemurs, Man, Lemurs." The goofy titles aren't that intrusive; every thought on this EP probably has a drunken anecdote behind it. Vocalist Jake Snider is serious about getting blotto and getting laid, but in a gentlemanly, non-Greg Dulli way. The first words out of his mouth are, "Let's get the fuck out of here. It's like a congregation." Music this moving rarely has such a raucous sense of fun. Andrew Bonazelli

Minus the Bear play at Fallout Records, free, 3 p.m. Sat., Nov. 17 and at the Showbox (with Built to Spill), $15, 8 p.m. Sun., Nov. 18.

BLACK LIPSTICK

The Four Kingdoms of

Black Lipstick EP

(Peek-a-Boo)

Hot 'n' bothered Texan tyrants tune in and turn on.

Black Lipstick's debut is a makeshift junk-jam boogie for greased hips and painted lips. "I don't care about shit except for gettin' off and gettin' lit!" singer-guitarist Phillip Niemeyer slurs in his lazy, curled-lip lisp. Crude and to the point, it's an apt encapsulation of these Texan hot trotters' decadent, skin-deep rock drama; they "wake every morn with torn underwear," they "wanna kick it with you" (pronounced whi-choo), and they're entirely uninterested in anything that doesn't hump, bump, strut, or swagger. Thankfully, The Four Kingdoms of Black Lipstick does all of the above, with the foursome melding rock, neocountry, and piano (!) into their own charming brand of floozy fun and bar-band noir. With ominous, laid-back but danceable rock beats, Black Lipstick has a highly influential hits list topped by Modern Lovers, Lou Reed, and, most obviously, the recently disbanded Kiss Offs (in which Niemeyer and keyboardist Travis Higdon performed). On its promising five-song EP, the band hits its stride on the second track, "Cat Piss Blues," with its bump 'n' grind gee-tars and underused boy-girl vocal turns. From then on, the band never lets up, churning out hot 'n' heavy songs about bedroom boogies and American thighs. Press play and pucker up. Jimmy Draper

 
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