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Minus the Bear

On their new release, Omni, Seattle ambient rockers Minus the Bear show off a more subdued, mellow side. The band is arguably the kings of the indie chill-out jam, but with Omni the Bear goes straight for your brain's relaxation station. Every now and then the din grows louder, like on "Summer Angel," but the rest of the album is a straight-ahead pillowy, driving record. This go-round, the band seems to be aiming for the My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses set without moving to the ranch full-time and losing their Mach 3. It's still hard for us to believe that the group is partially made up of dudes who previously did time in Botch, which has the distinct honor of being one of the best and most revered math-metal bands of the past two decades.

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