A buddy explained the other night - as the air outside kicked up a flume of disturbing wintry business - that he's just recently begun taking to sherry to work the feeling back into his fingers and to help apply a charming coat of liquid wool to his body's main street, just every so often. It had become a welcome habit, one that he'd taken enough comfort in that he wanted to mention it. He had been thinking about cooking sherry and one thing led to another. Soon enough, that begat walking in the door from the outsides like the one on the night of his telling, removing his coat, hat and shoes and knocking back a plug of sherry because, as he put it, "You know, it makes you feel warm." It's the best reason that anyone really could have to do anything with their time. We get to understand warmth ostensibly more during the months when it's so scarce, when it's only furnished by things manmade - big mainframe furnaces, space heaters, wood ovens, the toasting of logs set forth by the hands of people freezing their cheeks off.The Minus Story is the unsustainable effect of that swig of alcohol when the skin and bones are being bombarded by the cursed cold that comes traipsing through these Midwestern parts as well as those in the band's Lawrence, Kansas, city of record. The band we can follow past the teeth, over the tongue and gums and as it starts to be taken by the gravitational pull of the throat, reaches up and pulls the cord to turn a light on that booms to life and causes more heat than visibility. Suddenly, what takes over is a sensation that feels like a bearskin rug has just been gently stapled to the tracking of that throat and the excess is run down right into the clattering stomach, where the sounds and the alcohol bottom out like children reaching the end of the water park's steepest slide. The Minus Story is just the right amount of sherry for the job. It is the rewarding glow that is no doubt dripping to its end in whatever body it inhabits. Vocalist Jordan Geiger makes sure to touch all of his words and melodies with the utmost care, with a precise hand, which could be holding a quill next to an ink well, next to a bottle. The music that the Minus Story makes has all of the qualities of a night that moves lightly, of a night that feels aged and would be happy that you noticed these things about it. It's a wonderful kind of pacing that happens when the needle lowers onto the grooves and as much as it is about that sherry or the drink of the hour, it's just as much about or in relation to the treatment that a poor lake receives when the weather turns into its dormant period, when nothing swims and the fish all take to their cramped quarters down near the sludge. . It's the bitter stillness of the blue that's turned white that comes through when Geiger sings, as if offering the ice those stark cracking sounds that pop through a quiet walk when it's stepped upon improperly. It chokes the beat out of a heart and then it's time for another glass of sherry and another story.