27 Nov 2011

Mini Mansions - Obscure Classics ( Review )

Great albums you may have missed

Mini Mansions - Mini Mansions ( 2010 ) 

Formed in 2009 when multi-instrumentalist Michael Shuman got some downtime from his day job as bass player for Queens of the Stone Age, Mini Mansions are an unusual prospect in the indie rock world. Forgoing guitars for the most part, this three piece have a keyboard heavy sound which is obviously indebted to the past but sounds completely contemporary at the same time.
Heavily influenced by the Beatles, it's almost as if you're listening to a late sixties Beatles album that's been transported from an alternative universe where Lennon became obsessed with the fairground style of Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite and stuck with it through his intensely paranoid White Album material.
That's part of the major appeal of this album to me - the swooning harmonies are absolutely gorgeous but somehow manage to co-exist with an ever present sense of claustrophobia and something approaching dread.
Of particular note is the fantastic fuzz bass playing which helps fill in the spaces the guitar would generally inhabit. 
There's not a duff track in sight - one particular highlight is Majik Marker which starts out with the resigned melancholy of I'm So Tired before descending into a cacophanous maelstrom of fuzz bass and drums.
Also fantastic are Monk and Kiddie Hypnogoggia - check out their videos below:

"Genuinely psychedelic with huge hooks... After listening to Mini Mansions just once, you won't be able to get it out of your head.'" Says the Queen's Josh Homme. Who am I to disagree?
Criminally unknown and absolutely necessary for fans of the Beatles, Elliott Smith and of course Queens of the Stone Age.

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