Various Artists “Team Mint 20”

What an absolute treat. Some of my favorite acts have been on Mint (Operation Makeout, Neko Case, Pansy Division, etc.). Although none of them are on this retrospective, we still get great tracks from the New Pornographers, Cub, and Huevos Rancheros. Here are the highlights:

  • The Pack a.d. sound like the Quails on “Sirens”
  • Vancougar sound exactly like their name (meow!) on “Distance”
  • Bella is a poppier version of Vancougar (more synths, better backing vox) on “Give It a Night”
  • Immaculate Machine’s lead singer sounds a bit like Neko Case on “Jarhand”
  • P:ano is a country version of Suddenly, Tammy!, and “Pure Evil” is anything but, unless sweet melody leads you astray
  • The Organ is appropriately named and is half Siouxsie, half Kim Wilde, on “Brother”
  • Young and Sexy have appropriate male-female vocals and sharp lyrics in “The City You Live In Is Ugly”
  • Volumizer is a rock ‘n’ roll good time and makes me wish I could change my name on “I Promise You, Thomas”
  • The New Pornographers’s best song ever — EVER — is on here (“Letter From an Occupant”) and gives you a chance to hear Neko Case in all her awesomeness
  • Carolyn Mark’s best is on here as well (“Edmonton”) and is folking amazing (although the melody is a little too similar to “American Pie” to be a coincidence)
  • cub is cub, as they always are, on “New York City” so not much else to say about that awesomeness

All the songs are good, and most feature piano and tend to have power-pop sensibilities. That’s Mint in a nutshell, so of course that’s how it is here, too.

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