Starlight Mints – Drowaton (CD)

 

“Pumpkin” has a “Midnite Vultures” feel to it, making this introduction to “Drowaton” interesting to say the least. “Torts” continues this interesting sound as it brings Starlight Mints into a carnival atmosphere, with little connecting these first two tracks. It is really only during “What’s Inside of Me?” that the band really sets down and comes with a serious approach. Mixing a Fastball style with a piano line that would make Ben Folds blush, “What’s Inside of Me?” is the first hit by the Mints on “Drowaton”. “Seventeen Devils” is the next hit, as the Starlight Mints mix a stop-start sound with a hooky set of vocals and fun strings.

If the band is going to make it big off of the tracks present on “Drowaton”, “Seventeen Devils” has the retro sound and idiosyncratic styling needed to make this the Mints’ ticket out of musical obscurity. The fact that Starlight Mints can create a mini orchestra with the Pink Panther-esque “Rhino Stomp” shows that while they may be able to make a very accessible brand of indie rock, the band has ability far beyond what is normally shown on the disc. Removing everything from the mix besides a guitar for the majority of “The Killer”, the Starlight Mints move to a different set of influences again. The chameleon-like nature of the band is not a sign of inability, but rather with a burning desire to cover the widest musical area they can.

The skill shown in all tracks on “Drowaton” shows that they accomplish their goal in a major way; “Drowaton” is an album that follows a Zappa-like eclecticism. Mixing in the walking bass of rockabilly music for “Eyes of the Night”, Starlight Mints show that no instrument need to be untouched when they are in the studio. It is seriously as if the band scanned the studio for random instruments and managed to fit them into the disc; what results is an album that is teeming with interesting derivations from the accepted norm of indie rock. There are a few times where the stars align and the Mints find themselves in possession of a solid hit, but the average track on “Drowaton” is brilliant in the differing approaches the band imbue their music with. Never trying to just add material to a track for the shock value, the diversity of sounds on “Drowaton” are all worked into the normal sound of the band, resulting in success after success for the Starlight Mints.

Top Tracks: Rhino Stomp, Eyes of the Night

Rating: 6.9/10

[JMcQ]

 

Starlight Mints – Drowaton / Barsuk / 12 Tracks / http://www.starlightmints.com / http://www.barsuk.com /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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