Complex indie rock with a touch of emotions from the Pacific Northwest. Minus The Bear proved to be a dividing force when they dropped Highly Refined Pirates back in 2002. You either loved or loathed their precisely honed take on indie. The musicians, guitarist and vocalist Jake Snider, guitarist Dave Knudson, bassist Cory Murchy, keyboard maestro Matt Bayles and drummer Erin Tate, brought forth an airtight juggernaut that could move through math rock tropes just as easily as it could transfer from loud to soft moments. The skill level was high and they had the songwriting to match. They were tight, consistent and full of energy, able to move through time signatures while playing with dynamics and guitar effects. Needless to say there's plenty to still enjoy with these Highly Refined Pirates.
- music label: Suicide Squeeze 2002 / 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 02/2015