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Change Remains

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Album Review

While the facile thing to do is to compare the whirlingly experimental symphonic indie pop of Starlight Mints to fellow Oklahomans Flaming Lips, that would be a pitfall, as it's a stunningly inadequate comparison. While the Norman-based band owes much to those wily experimenters that came before, the Barsuk website does not stretch the truth in dubbing them "pranksters" The Starlight Mints deal in their own brand of mix-and-match musical wizardry, bewitching and magnificently mystifying in its own way, cobbled from its own corners of the rock & roll galaxy. Change Remains, the Starlight Mints' fourth album, may be the fivesome's poppiest offering, and yet somehow it's the darkest and hardest to pin down at the same time. The grand melodiousness is slow in revealing itself; the band opens on the noir- and sci-fi-flavored instrumental "Coffins R Us" and slides into the pulsating, borderline disco, sinister '90s, late-night college radio vibe of "Natural." These tracks are not without their slyly jagged charm, they are sleight of hand as the album truly begins to take form on the near-perfect slice of hypnotic pop. "Paralyzed" is a track which combines a Psychedelic Furs' new wave melancholy with just a touch of Pavement's wry nonsense and adds a hard-to-beat post-chorus chiming-bell hook. Starlight Mints cut the melodic tension with the dark and worldly "Zoomba," an art school rump shaker lying somewhere between Talking Heads and Modest Mouse, but kick back into solid single mode on the breathtaking "Black Champagne," classically driving and upbeat. The remainder of the record kicks into indie-disco-hop mode in the TV on the Radio's Dear Science style of unpredictable, downright groovy, cynical, crowd-pleasing rock. It's an uneven record at times, often frustrating, but it's got that special quality of revealing a new find, a new musical nook or cranny, with every listen, and most of all, it's just plain fun.

Customer Reviews

great sound, but unsure how to rate

Quirky; pick any song and take a listen! I enjoyed what I've listened to, particularly Snorkel With a Turtle.


Formed: Norman, OK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Candy-coated mod quintet the Starlight Mints sprouted through the ground in Norman, OK -- the same home state as the equally oddball dream pop band Flaming Lips. Starlight Mints -- vocalist/guitarist Allan Vest, keyboardist Marian Love Nunez, bassist Javier Gonzales, drummer Andy Nunez, and guitarist Matt Goad -- began jamming together in the '90s as a seven-person band complete with orchestra, giving birth to their own funky brand of heavily instrumental -- think cello, violin, triangle, and sound...
Full Bio
Change Remains, Starlight Mints
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