Mint 400 Records
Yeah! A free record! And it’s really good! OK, getting free music isn’t that hard these days, most bands toss out a few tracks as teasers and the studious among us can fill a hard drive or two with more material that there are hours in the day to listen. But these are special; the Mint 400 label is a stable of local Jersey bands with high skills and a taste for sounds that filled the air waves at the height of the “hippies and LSD” days. All these tracks originated in The Summer of Love; while things were rough and tumble that summer the scene would only get worse as time wore on.
This collection of covers varies from near perfect replicas to complete re-imaginings. The “me, too” tracks include the romantic “Carrie Anne” (by Tri-State) with its echoey guitar, pop harmony vocals and a slightly ominous drops in the guitar that show just a soupcon of irony. The One and Nines channel Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in a flat out “Let’s Spend the Night Together” while Jack Skuller smokes out the Door’s “Love Me Two Times.” You can hear the sweat fall from his love beads on to the monitor speakers. On the more avant garde side, there’s an almost unrecognizable “I Think We Are Alone Now” formerly by Tommy James and the Shondells and here by Murzik. The lounge classic “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (originally by Frankie Valli, then covered by everyone including Pet Shop Boys) is more chopped up and hip hoped up by Netorare Fan Club; it’s a love song that can take as much abuse as true love itself. I admit a few of the tracks are unknown to me: “The Song of Seeonee” (by The Duke of Norfolk and originally deleted from The Jungle Book soundtrack) and the Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” by Fairmont are examples. They are sound tunes, just undeservedly obscure. Chase this down and rock out or find a new love song. This is an exceptional value even at twice the price.