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Highly Refined Pirates
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Album: Highly Refined Pirates
# Song Title   Time
1)    Thanks for the Killer Game of Criscor Twister
2)    Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!
3)    Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse
4)    Hey, Wanna Throw Up?
5)    Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo
6)    We Are Not a Football Team
7)    You Kill Bugs Good, Man
8)    Spritz!! Spritz!!!
9)    Women We Haven't Met Yet
10)    Damn Bugs Whacked Him, Johnny
11)    I Lost All My Money at the Cock Fights
12)    Andy Wolff
13)    Let's Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band
14)    Booyah Achieved
 

Album: Highly Refined Pirates
# Song Title   Time
1)    Thanks for the Killer Game of Criscor Twister
2)    Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!
3)    Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse
4)    Hey, Wanna Throw Up?
5)    Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo
6)    We Are Not a Football Team
7)    You Kill Bugs Good, Man
8)    Spritz!! Spritz!!!
9)    Women We Haven't Met Yet
10)    Damn Bugs Whacked Him, Johnny
11)    I Lost All My Money at the Cock Fights
12)    Andy Wolff
13)    Let's Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band
14)    Booyah Achieved
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Amy Blaschke (vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Troy Tietjen; Matt Bayles; Steve Fisk.
  • Recording information: Studio Litho, Seattle, WA.
  • Photographer: Robin Laananen.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Cory Murchy; Erin Tate.
  • They may call this math rock but -- contrary to the attempt at pigeonholing -- it rarely gets boring. Which is usually a good sign that the usual musical designations don't really apply to Minus the Bear. The only question that comes up during a casual or earnest listen to their latest release, Highly Refined Pirates, is this: where would you place these guys if you had to? Then comes the rejoinder: who cares? Filled with complex guitar fingerwork, aural synth embellishment, and spiraling arrangements that recall everything from King Crimson to More Songs About Building and Food-era Talking Heads to later work from bands like Fugazi (especially The Argument) and Juno, Highly Refined Pirates is a trip through what's great about newer indie rock that doesn't sound like it's trying to be punk without the danger. Many songs on Highly Refined Pirates float ethereally above their conventionally driving drum and guitar lines, and pack a serious lyrical punch to boot. Such as "Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo" -- comedy! -- which boasts one of the coolest choruses ever committed to memory ("You said, 'My life's like a bad movie'/I said, 'That's true of all of us'/You said 'I've got to wake up so f**king early'/I said 'Maybe the director's turned on us'). Or "Let's Play Guitar in a Five-Guitar Band," a dense collection of echo-heavy vocals, light arpeggiation, distant distortion, and enough hammer-ons to make Eddie Van Halen proud. But the greatest thing about this Minus the Bear album is that it doesn't let its sonic complexity go to its head. Each of Highly Refined Pirates' songs is filled with tongue-in-cheek lyrical wordplay (like that cited above) or entitled with toss-off lines from Paul Verhoeven's outer space soap opera, Starship Troopers (samples: "You Kill Bugs Good, Man" or "Damn Bugs Whacked Him, Johnny"). Al in all, Highly Refined Pirates will probably satisfy the music notation nerds, the indie cynics, and the random listener searching for something indefinite in a saturated pop landscape looking to hawk the usual boring band du jour. ~ Scott Thill
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