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Newfound Maturity and a Shredding Solo

On past albums, Minus the Bear's mischievous song titles ("Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked") and intricate instrumentation became hallmarks of sorts for the Seattle band. Still, while its music has long been entertaining and technically impressive, it's sometimes seemed to be missing something. Enter Minus the Bear's latest album, Planet of Ice, and its sharply produced single, "Knights."

The track's opening phrase — "I owe you, don't I?" — says it all, as Minus the Bear gives longtime followers more than a glimpse of serious creative development. Upon hearing the first skipping notes of "Knights," fans will know that something has changed: The sophisticated constructions of new keyboardist Alex Rose allow "Knights" to capitalize on the group's newfound maturity, while retaining its signature style.

Even with its subtle new ingredients, though, Minus the Bear slyly incorporates a shredding solo that any air guitarist would be proud to mimic. Echoing beats serve as the foundation for the dance-rock track, while singer Jake Snider's cool delivery ("A piece of you for a piece of me / and it's all right") lets listeners know that their patience has paid off.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Chantal de la Rionda