Mini Mansions

S/T
Domino Records

Unusual. Uncovered and Unpredictable is an understatement. Mini Mansions have dived into the scene bringing their Beatles influenced pop songs and obscure imagination behind them. The band was founded by Queen of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman and his overly talented longtime friends, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford in 2009. The band express how it wasn’t a conscious effort, their love for pop and wide range of common influences compelled the trio together. The atmospheric album has a flow through out, linked by their songs: Vintage #1, Vintage #2 and Vintage #3, a buildup of gothic melodies, trembling piano and eerie guitar, eventually leading to a heavy distortional bass. It’s no secret that each member of the band can play several instruments and swap regularly in their sets; Zach Dawes stands up for his drum parts in songs such as ‘Monk’ giving the whole stage a particular feel to it, using the floor tom as a bass pedal, juggling perfectly with his backing vocals; the band’s driven oar comes across effortless along with their talented performance.

Josh Homme said a few words about Shuman’s new project at a Mini Mansions gig in the Carson earlier this year: “This band sounds like its own entity but there were things that just sounded oddly familiar there were little pieces of things without, sort of, dry humping them you know? Because the goal isn’t to copy your favorite band, it’s to be your own favorite band.” For a Beatles influenced band, Josh Homme’s words seem wise. Somehow Mini Mansions have achieved a successful individual sound of their own, despite Zach Dawes love for the ‘Magic Mystery Tour’ record. He explains how that album was mistaken for something happy and commercial, when the songs held a much darker side to them, Michael Shuman has expressed this is what modern pop has been missing. Mini Mansions songs have such eeriness, symbolizing a sense of darkness, along with their deranged music video’s have had no intention of hiding what their music is about, making this a drastic difference between them and the Beatles.

There’s a natural ambiance about these three, something hard to find, and without trying, they are the one of the first bands in a long time to refresh us with traditional pop songs having the musical ability and using it in the right way. Beady Eye might look like the Beatles, but Mini Mansions have defiantly conquered the music side of it… sorry Liam.

Victoria McCormick