SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., March 17, 2006
The Parish, Thursday, March 16While some bands suffer from being too samey, sounding exactly like their studio work in concert, Starlight Mints steer clear of that particular affliction. They offer up tunes that don't vary much, structurally, from what you'll hear on the albums, but it's rough around the edges: stripped down, raw, naked without the benefit of layers of production. And the wondrous thing? It works. The Norman, Okla., septet kicked things off a little late, but still delivered a wallop with the lumbering "Rhino Stomp," from the soon-to-be-released Drowaton (Barsuk). This was followed by "The Bees" and "Pumpkin," all three of which were well-received by the audience, which had been kept waiting on the street by club staff that finally allowed entrance into a nearly empty upstairs stage. Then it was time to take a step backward, with a visit to some Built on Squares material. On "Black Cat," singer Allan Vest sang into a mute (that thing you stick in the bell of a horn) for added quirkiness, and "Rinky Dinky" displayed lovely depth. "Goldstar" found Vest, keyboardist Marian Love Nunez, and drummer Andy Nunez indulging in creepy harmonies that clashed in the air above our heads, then drifted away into the ether.