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Minus The Bear enjoying the pluses of higher profile

of the Oakland Press

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Reviewers have cited Minus The Bear keyboardist Alex Rose’s synthesizers as being even more prominent on the Seattle group’s latest album, “Omni,” than on its three predecessors.

Ironically, Rose says, he’s probably playing [i]less[/i] on this one than before.

“I think that before I had a tendency to overplay,” explains Rose, 31, who says “Omni” co-producer Joe Chiccarelli helped him refine his approach. “A lot of Joe’s influences was for me to maybe lay out for a part here and there and simplify a little bit. I think it’s just a matter of listening to everything that’s there and realizing when to take your moment and when to let other people have their moment.

“I think I, personally, learned a lot more from him about playing [i]for[/i] the song, which was really valuable and enlightening.”

“Omni” has been MTB’s most successful album so far, debuting at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 chart for the group’s best showing yet. It coincides with a label change — from one independent, Suicide Squeeze, to another, Dangerbird — although the group recorded “Omni” on its own dime while in-between deals.

“There was never anybody breathing down our necks when we were in the studio, ever,” Rose notes. “I think the only pressure was we really wanted to make it good, that’s all. It was a little scary, not knowing where it was going to end up, but I don’t think that affected the music at all.

“And every couple of years our album sales climb, which I think is due to the fan base we already have. But Dangerbird has a team of people calling radio stations and working for us, so it’s better in that way.”

Minus The Bear and Tim Kasher perform Friday, Dec. 10, at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 248-333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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