The Mint Chicks - Screens Review
31 Mar 2009 // A review by lukefitzmaurice
First things first, DO NOT judge this album the first time you listen to it. That’s what I was tempted to do, because in all honesty, after listening to Screens once through I was a little disappointed. It seemed to me like The Mint Chicks had lost a little of the magic that made Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! such a good album, but I decided to hold my criticisms until I had listened to the album at least 2 or 3 more times. It ended up being a very very good decision, as the more I listened, the more I warmed to the album. Barely a week later I have completely changed my mind, and can confidently say that Screens is nothing less than incredible.
I think what disappointed me at first was the fact that The Mint Chicks seem to have, for the most part, toned down the musical explosiveness that permeated their debut album. The sound of four kiwi lads beating the snot out of their instruments yet somehow still producing something musically outstanding seemed to defy logic, and this is what drew me to tracks like Walking Off A Cliff Again and others on that album. So when it became obvious that the band had departed slightly from that sound into something far more influenced by pop than spaz-punk, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Then I started listening to the final track on the album, Life Will Get Better Someday, a track that remains my favourite on the new record, and it completely changed my perspective on the rest of the album.
Suddenly tracks that had at first seemed soft and weak became 3 minute nuggets of musical brilliance, and I realised that the magic of Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! had not been lost but expanded upon. I also realised that the explosiveness of their debut album had not disappeared, and was still heavily prevalent on tracks like Enemies, the penultimate song on the album. Now as I listen to the album on the bus almost every day I feel like a total moron for wanting to jump up and start dancing in the aisle, such is the extent to which most of the songs have grown on me. I finally understand why this album has been getting such great reviews
Final verdict? Screens is absolutely fantastic, and I can highly recommend it. All the hype surrounding the album is totally justified, so go buy it! Right now!
About The Mint Chicks
The Mint Chicks make spazzy, heavy, poppy music with lyrics about things like sports teams, love, death, obsession, and drug addiction. Turn ons: the Buzzcocks, comic books, A Clockwork Orange, Refused, speedfreaks, Devo, At the Drive-In, Flying Nun Records, Public Image Ltd, bright colours, black, the Beach Boys, Naked Lunch, Slayer ringtones, Pro tools, Miles' electric period, Grand Theft Auto, Black Sabbath, ring mod pedals, psychedelia, Roy Orbison, and the Locust.
Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Mint Chicks
Playing packed-out little venues in New Zealand since 2002, the Mint Chicks (singer and wurlitzer piano player Kody Nielson, bassist Michael Logie, drummer Paul Roper and guitarist Ruban Nielson) have climbed all the PA's, back flipped off all the drum risers, bloodied all the fingers, scrapped all the haters, broken all the hearts, ripped all the clothing, bashed all the microphones and smashed all the bottles in preparation for the release of their newest and most exciting record: 'Crazy?Yes!Dumb?No!'.
'Octagon, Octagon, Octagon' came in 2003, the Mint Chicks had just signed to legendary NZ label Flying Nun Records. It's influences were varied and it's local impact was felt immediately, taking student radio by storm with 4 number 1's and 5 'bnet' awards, even though it was only a six-track document of youthful enthusiasm and little bit of home-made inventiveness (the band militantly self produce/engineer their records, do their own artwork and designed their own website). This was the sound of hardcore damaged beyond repair by bubblegum, LSD and artschool.