The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of
See Thru Broadcasting
The Starlight Mints, whether they want to admit it or not, are direct descendents of the Pixies. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing, since at this point in rock, everyone is susceptible of being labeled derivative of an older band.
There is just something about the Pixies that has helped them maintain their massive popularity, years after their break-up, and this intangible thing has definitely found its way onto the debut from the Starlight Mints. For example, the other night when I was doing a DJ gig, someone requested a Pixies song, commenting that “The Pixies are HOT, man!” like they’re some young new band just about to get their big break. To put things in perspective, when I played a track from the Starlight Mints a few nights later, someone asked me if it was a rare Pixies song, and when I informed them that it was actually this new band from Oklahoma, they immediately wrote down the label’s web address.
The menacing, dark undertones found in almost every Pixies song is just one of many personality traits the Starlight Mints have inherited from Black Francis & Co. On “The Bandit” and “Sir Prize,” the melody, strings, guitar and Allan Vest’s vocals are all carbon copied from Surfer Rosa-era Pixies. They even make use of the call-and response vocal technique that the Pixies ran into the ground on albums like Doolittle and that the Breeders used on their debut, Pod.
The Starlight Mints, besides owing a lot to the Pixies, have put together one helluva record. The lyrics are witty and clever, without being annoying, and the band does try things the Pixies probably wouldn’t have, like starting an album out with a string section and a lone whacked out guitar riff. The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of is one of the most enjoyable, catchy rock records you’re likely to hear all year, now we’ll have to wait and see what they do with album number two.
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