Picture some weird teen-romance flick in which a lonely kid goes on an oceanside vacation with his family and winds up falling in love with the girl of his dreams against a soft-focus backdrop of rain showers, pounding surf, and long, scenic drives up the coast. Now slice up the celluloid with shards of melody and a knack for non sequitur song titles like "Hey! Is That a Ninja Up There?" and "I'm Totally Not Down With Rob's Alien." The result is They Make Beer Commercials Like This
, the fourth and most accessible release by Seattle's prog-core enigma Minus the Bear. Singer-guitarist Jake Snider's lovelorn story line links these six songs into a neat, cohesive narrative, while all the desultory noodling and algorithmic tempos make up an intricate, well-oiled mechanism that's more adept at crunching numbers than eardrums. Anxiously atmospheric and perplexingly beautiful, Commercials
is the perfect score for your own private summer of surrealism.