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Home of Tone Record of the week - Minus The Bear, Highly Refined Pirates
There are certainly albums that seem to freeze moments in your life and preserve the memories perfectly everytime you play it. This is one of those albums for me, Minus the bear's 2002 album, Highly Refined Pirates. I was 17 and I'd just learnt to drive, that stage in life where all you seem to want to do is go on road trips and spend copious amounts of time in this newly found freedom. I was at a friends house talking music and going through his record collection when he said 'you really should check these out'. One of the albums he passed to me was this amazing thing! We listened to it then and there, but it remained on repeat in my car for so long afterwards. I was absolutely captivated by it, and remain to be to this day. Catchy melodies, amazing guitar parts and interesting time structures and rhythms. It sat so well with me, and remains one of my all time favourite albums.

So, why was it on my mind in particular this week? Well sadly, Minus the Bear recently announced that they have decided to call it a day as a band, after many years of playing together, which was a very sad thing to hear. But in a way brilliantly nostalgic as it means you delve back into the catalog and feel grateful for what they put out there for us to enjoy. 

You look through the track list and are greeted by weird and wonderful track names, but it isn't all about joking around as the songs are so good (to me), and each have their own memories attached to them. A real solid, constant soundtrack to me ears since first hearing it at a young 17.

Track highlights for me (Can't I just say from start to finish?!) are 'Monkey!!Knife!!Fight', 'Absinthe party at the fly honey warehouse', 'We are not a football team', 'Spritz!!!Spritz!!!' & 'I lost all my money at the cock fights'. But truth is it feels impossible to pick favourites from this masterpiece of Seattle indie music. One of the best bands of my generation in my opinion, and will be sorely missed but they have truly earned the rest and look forward to hearing the music they put out individually I'm sure.

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