Posted by: will | February 5, 2007



Plus/Minus “Let’s Build A Fire” (Absolutely Kosher)

Buy it at Insound!

Plus/Minus are a (gulp) mature indie rock band. Mature can sometimes mean the nail in the coffin for a band. It can mean the band is well on their way to being boring and irrelevant. Or in the case of Plus/Minus it can mean the band knows a thing or two about what the hell they are doing. This is my first exposure to Plus/Minus and I am left quite impressed. Let’s Build A Fire is a fantastic and “mature” indie rock record.

The first comparisons I thought of when listening to Let’s Build A Fire were perhaps the tops of mature indie rock bands in The Wrens and Yo La Tengo. While Plus/Minus don’t write quite at that level they are damn close. With somber songs like “The Important Thing Is Love” and “Hellkite” the band can lull you into a beautiful sleep. Plus/Minus writes delicate, yet emotionally gripping songs. The band knows when to turn up the volume and rock out a little bit as well. On tracks like “Fadeout” and “Back And Forth” the band does just that. “Ignoring All The Details” takes a bit from boths sides by starting off soft only to end in a blaze of guitar feedback. The band is also adept at throwing in a few songs that do not really fit the mold. “Steal The Blueprints” might find the band some younger listeners as it sounds remarkably like a Ben Gibbard (The Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie) penned tune. “One Day You’ll Be There” is an off-kilter mid-tempo pop song with an addictive guitar riff and melody. “Leap Year” is probably my favorite here. It sounds like Idlewild which in turn obviously sounds like older REM. Plus/Minus have put together a varied collection of great songs here.

Releases like Let’s Buld A Fire rarely win any album of the year awards. The band’s songs are far too subtle and intricate for that kind of glory. These songs demand patience to grow on you. The listener has to be willing to allow that to happen. However, albums like this one may offer the greatest reward in the end. Given more time with this album, I realize Let’s Build A Fire should have certainly been on my 2006 year end list.

RIYL: The Wrens, Death Cab For Cutie, Yo La Tengo


Plus/Minus – Steal The Blueprints (mp3)

Plus/Minus – Leap Year (mp3)


  1. When you say “mature” do you mean that they’re in the late 20’s or 30’s? What do you say about a band in their 40’s? Gotta go sign up for AARP.

  2. i mean they are older and play slower basically.

  3. looks like what they are doesn’t matter. they are good.

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