Mineral Empire (No Wisdom)
Reviewed by Alyssa Quiles, Fri., Nov. 22, 2019
A name like Delicate Boys insinuates a group encompassing stringy pop and innocence, but Mineral Empire is flat-out rude. Punk poured with a shot of psychedelia and a splash of surf makes a delicious cocktail the Austin quartet mixes well. Not a far cry from their debut 2017 EP Physical Culture, the full-length sprinkles gritty hits and unwavering tempos. Kickoff "Pilin' Up" and "Anything You Want to Hear" garnish the album with lingering synths, providing a different flavor to the sound palette of classic punk. In contrast, heavily iced with burning riffs, "Big Shot" outs the Man, protesting money-hungry corporations and the self-serving hierarchy: "Stay calm, protect your wealth/ Patrol and firebomb/ Well, you're a big shot, mister/ But not for long." Mineral Empire builds a dark vision, unlike singer Caleb McKelvey's hopeful outlook on life before he joined the soul-shattering oil industry.