Music » Livewire

Minus Story

With Old Canes and His Hideous Heart. Thursday, June 28, at the Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights.

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Minus Story excels at capturing its avant-rock sound in its bedroom studios. Drawing comparisons to the Elephant Six Collective, the Missouri quintet has self-produced four albums of dense noise-pop full of unique instrumentation and lo-fi studio tricks.

Unfortunately, the group's live sets don't live up to its recorded output. "They would always turn into these high-energy songs with lots of noise," says frontman and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Geiger, referring to the tunes off 2005's No Rest for Ghosts. "The idea was to try and capture that sound on record, which we had never done before."

Minus Story recorded its latest, My Ion Truss (an anagram for Minus Story), live in the studio over four days with producer John Congleton. Its 10 tracks see the band scaling back its sound to just the essentials: icy pianoscapes, bombastic drums, fuzzy space guitar, and Geiger's high-pitched warble. The disc's volatile balance of noise and melody recalls the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel.

"Will [Robinson Sheff] from Okkervil River -- who we've toured with before -- described seeing us live as 'the feeling that we could lose the song and totally self-destruct at any moment, but we never quite get there.' I'd say that's a pretty good description," explains Geiger.

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