Marianas Trench released in 2009 one of the years best records in "Masterpiece Theater". With a blend of classic symphonic rock like Queen with newer punk pop they created a mix that I have not heard before and that worked perfectly. On their latest album, they continue the same trend, and this time around the story of a queen called Carolina. The opening track "Ever After" sets the level directly and is a 6:34 minute long show in modern symphonic rock. Just listen to the pompous and immensely cool string arrangement at "3:36" and you will understand what I mean. Very brave as an opening track, but the Marianas Trench is a band that goes their own way for sure and isn’t afraid to do the unexpected.
They have also chosen to produce the album on their own this time, and of course with a superb performance. Smart electronic elements and fantastic arrangements is delivered and gives the album a fresh and modern touch, but in a classic way. What I also like the band is their mix of simple and radio-friendly songs with more complex ones. It makes the album pretty unexpected and exciting, which is an advantage. Maybe they could have added a couple of more tracks as the title track and "Porcelain" since I am very fond of that kind of progressive pop. But I’m still very happy with the result and the album is a must have if you’re into catchy and big sounding pop.
The name "Minus the Bear" comes from an in-joke among the band members, referring to the 70´s television program, B. J. and the Bear. "A friend of the band had gone on a date,” explains singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "and one of us asked him afterwards how the date went. Our friend said, ´You know that TV show from the ´70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that... minus The Bear.´ That’s the straight truth."