Mint Records is one of the few brand names in the industry I trust these days, where their logo on the album can convince me to purchase that platter, even when I know zip-zero-nada about the artist contained within. Originally chartered to document the burgeoning Vancouver scene (that’s right, Canada), Mint slowly but deftly expanded to other areas on the west coast, culminating with an impressive roster of artists that is clearly documented here: The New Pornographers, The Smugglers, Neko Case, I Am Spoonbender, and Carolyn Mark are all afforded snapshots from their previous releases, as well as relative newcomers Operation Makeout and The New Town Animals.
Two threads run strongly through the Mint Records tradition: sharp punk and pop-punk (The Smugglers, The Evaporators, The New Town Animals) and gen-yoo-ine country (Neko Case, Carolyn Mark, Tennessee Twin). Of course, there’s also the stuff that’s difficult to categorize, like I Am Spoonbender’s mechanical keyboards-bass-drums attack and Huevos Rancheros’ twangy instrumentality. All of the aforementioned acts make a contribution on this record, often more than once, and there are plenty more surprises to be found. None of this material is exclusive to this compilation, so there’s nothing stopping me from recommending you simply buy every possible Mint Record you can find, but if you’re feeling a bit nervous about this recommendation, this compilation is a great place to start. No matter your tastes, you’re guaranteed to find something quite tasty.
Mint Records: http://www.mintrecs.com