Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review: MiniBoone - Big Changes

Below is my take on the debut EP Big Changes by MiniBoone from Decoy Music.  Also, check out the interviews with the band here and here. It gives good insight into the group and presents them as intelligent, stand-up guys; although, I do disagree with their statement about the importance of the album as an art form and it's impending death. Give the EP a listen while reading to gain full effect.

Rating: 3.5
on a scale out of 5.0

Q And Not U
Tokyo Police Club
Talking Heads

  1. Summer Jam
  2. Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart Itself
  3. Devil in Your Eyes
  4. Rosalina Must Dance Alone
  5. I Need
  6. Funny Money
<a href="">Summer Jam by MiniBoone</a>

Summer is on the horizon and that means it's mixtape season. You are going to need some good indie rock to put on your latest mix to impress the girl next door or your music-snob friend. However, you can't just keep using the same Spoon and Animal Collective songs. You're going to need a secret weapon; something solid that they never heard before. This is where MiniBoone comes in. The group possesses a cheerful, upbeat rock sound that is sure to elicit a response of “What was the name of that band again?” You’ll also get bonus hipster points if you inform them that the band is named after a neutrino experiment.

The first candidate for your mix is the aptly titled “Summer Jam”. Fluttering percussion and inflating vocal harmonies drive this airy track. It serves as the perfect opener for their debut EP, Big Changes, and as an ample introduction to their overall style. “Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart itself” ups the ante tenfold and demonstrates how the band schizophrenically cycles through these tracks. It roars by with blazing speed and fuzzy guitars before they slow things back down with “Devil in Your Eyes”. The latter track displays how far reaching their sound is by adding a dash of Queen to their formula. Thankfully, this song shows that they use their keyboards sparingly and only for added emphasis instead of a gimmicky distraction.

The real gem, which should find a home on many a playlist, is “Rosalina Must Dance Alone”. It is a tale of self-discovery and a strikingly introspective song to put on an introductory EP. The song climaxes with exuberant swells of guitars and declarations of “I found love.” Things get a little less exciting with the bass-heavy “I Need” which is still a strong track but doesn’t have as much identity in the verse and chorus as the other songs. However, it does pick up in the last minute with a burning guitar solo and cries of “I’m living outside my comfort zone.” The closer “Funny Money” is a bit more dynamic and finishes things with a feel-good, sing-along melody before it crumbles into a pile of distortion and recovers with some clean guitar in the last few seconds.

The most promising aspect of this release is that each song possesses its own personality. All these tunes are rhythmically interesting and the group’s willingness to experiment with vocal harmonies is a breath of fresh air. The lively atmosphere certainly makes this a summer album. In an overcrowded scene, MiniBoone has the chops to poke their head above the rest so lets hope they do just that. If these guys can expand this same energy into a full album worth of songs, they are going to have something special on their hands.

Also, check out there entertaining video for "Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart Itself":

MiniBoone: Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart Itself Music Video from MiniBoone on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. haha, it was so trippy to see Sam Rich's face on your blog; Stevie & I went to high school with him. I hope we get all the hip points for this one.