The low key sound of Minmae during their “Pay More” will challenge listeners, as the eight and a half minutes that the track runs is nothing to scoff at. What simply sounds like a down tempo rock sound goes into noisy cacophony at points, keeping individuals attracted to the track. The random placement of clips from what sounds to be forties and fifties recordings give this another layer of depth, but one has to realize that the band is essentially doing the same thing for a lengthy segment of time. “Your Band Controls the Weather” is a much more marketable track for Minmae.
The track sneaks in under the five minute mark and has a slightly quicker tempo, but Minmae makes sure to go forth and link the track to the rest of the songs on “835”. “Capitals and Caliphs” slightly changes up Minmae’s overall sound to a more laid-back, dreamy style. This track marks another decrease in track length for the band, and one could hear this track being played at fraternity houses throughout the United States. A retro type of almost Zappa-like rock is the style du jour during “Goodbye”. After the massive 8 minute track that opened up the disc, the songs on “835” are all pretty good at remaining at a level short enough to allow the band to be played on radio stations. Minmae are an act that come forth with a number of different styles and sounds on their “835”. I would say that they have a cohesive style on the album, but when each track invokes a host of different sounds and approaches, one cannot say that in good faith. A band can have a varying approach and not fail on their album, and “835” is a solid album throughout.
“Next Round’s On Me” is a standout track no matter what album it may be on. The distortion and insistent tempo that the band achieves during this track gives the song a New Romantic feel, almost as if the Psychedelic Furs were still recording. “835” may be a grab bag of different sounds and styles, but that does not mean that the band is weak in any sort of way. Give Minmae a try: “835” should have something that individuals can like no matter what they find themselves listening to. Well-recorded, intelligent, and hard-hitting, Minmae is an act that is innovative without being too far in left field
Top Tracks: Next Round’s On Me, Goodbye
Minmae – 835 / 2006 Greyday / 14 Tracks / http://www.minmae.com / http://www.greydayrecords.com / Reviewed 24 January 2007