I could understand if someone told me they didn't like Minus the Bear. I could. There's something too polished, too musicianly, too slick about what they do. It's also probably why they're so good. So, I was pretty stoked to see Consequence of Sound's OFF THE AVENUE series feature one of Hank's Best Tracks of 2012 with their session with Minus the Bear (who all still seem to be rocking their Obama gear), that ode to car crashes and burbon in your bloodstream, "Steel and Blood." How could I not have guessed that the song would sound just as stunning with way fewer pedals, acoustic guitars and pretty damn near perfect synth lines? The stripped down version allows each instrumental line of the song to take center stage. It's like looking at the foundation of a house and having that tell you how well its made. If, despite my laudations, you haven't given this record, much less this song a listen, here's your chance:
It's also a healthy reminder of how great these blog-inspired sessions can be in helping to flesh out the work of an artist. Long live bands for doing these and for blogs that keep them going.