By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Taut filaments of light threaten to trepan anyone in their path, even as they diffuse into splayed geometric orgies. The amplified emissions ricochet and recoil, discharge and diverge. The spectrum resonates and collimates. Finally, the pulses dissipate, as if ectomorphs dispersed to the ether.
What is being loosely described is a laser light show. But it might as well be a song by Seattle quintet Minus the Bear, considering the amount of precise stenciling imbued in each of the band's sinewy effigies. The two may not share format, but they do share motif and now even medium. In celebration of the release of Planet of Ice (Suicide Squeeze), the group's third and latest full-length, Minus the Bear received the ultimate prog-rawk complement: Seattle's Pacific Science Center choreographed a laser light show to the album's tunes on Aug. 21. Previously the domain of Pink Floyd and such, the mathematical-meets-manes nature of a laser show suits Minus the Bear, as the group balances lithe and illusionary with substantial and searing on Ice.
The group's command of melodic modulation—bandied about across constricted gyral guitar and synth squiggles, topped by gradually unfurling vocals—also conjures momentary flashes of 8-bit gaming. There's something in the pointillist smattering of tug-o'-war trills and chirping progressions that suggests the most taut moments of Link's quest for the holy, harmonic Triforce in Legend of Zelda, or a sidescroller such as Contra full of ducks and tucks.
(And the laser really was the best weapon in Contra.)
Minus the Bear at Fingerprints, 4612 E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 433-4996; www.fingerprintsmusic.com. Fri., 7 p.m. Free with purchase of album.