The Mint is an independent band to emerge from Lancaster, PA. Released in June 2004, their self-titled EP offers up a seamless mix of piano melodies and assertive guitar-work, all set within an alternative rock context. Coming across as an edgier version of mainstream bands such as Doves or Coldplay, the four songs on this EP display a sound rich with highly textured soundscapes.
The album opens with the track "Stars." Giving off a distinctly Coldplay vibe, its prominent piano flourishes compliment singer/guitarist Jonathan Decker's vocals beautifully. As if to make sure that the rock feel isn't lost, a jagged guitar riff finishes off the track nicely. "Flashlights" also starts off nice and mellow, but halfway through the song guitar chords start crashing in, giving the song a heavier edge that it maintains until the end (again, much like Coldplay's "The Scientist"). After the upbeat pop/rock of "Backs of our Friends," the album closes with the six-minute epic "King of Glass." Another slow-burner, the track doesn't pick up until close to the 5-minute mark and finishes off with yet another beautiful extended instrumental.
Overall, this is a good album since I was surprised with the level of songwriting maturity for such a young band. Although not for fans of the heavier element of rock music, this quintet might just be worth checking out for fans of rock bands that are not afraid to put a little beauty in their compositions.- Review date: 1/23/05, written by Sherwin Frias
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