Label: Tapete
  • LP
    Enthält 19% MwSt.
    zzgl. Versand
Artikelnummer: 019488 Release Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2023


„Heavy music for nerdy people“, that’s how someone once described the music of Mint Mind. „For“ or „from“? Both, of course. After the first „VG+“ songs, you get a feeling of what the world of Mint Mind looks like: instruments and amplifiers from several decades loosely piled and organized. In front of, next to and between are synthesizers and effects, some as big as microwave ovens. On the crooked record shelf are handfuls of comics, albums by New Order, Devo, the B52s, almost the entire SST catalog, as well as Krautrock classics by Can and Faust. „VG+“, Mint Mind’s third album, has become a great, cross-generational indie rock album.
Mint Mind are sitting in the Upper Room Studio, a separate area of Rick McPhail’s small industrial loft in Hamburg-Altona. This is where the new Mint Mind album VG+ was created. Rick, who grew up in Maine, USA, looks to his fellow musicians. They are a little younger than him. Christian Klindworth (Fluppe) is 40, Friedel Viegener is 22. Rick grins and says, „I’m a polite and cheerful person but I need moments to vent and that’s what I do in my music. I usually get angry about the same things as young people. A lot of the things that suck today sucked in the 80s and it wasn’t easier to fight them back then.”

The album is about anger, optimism, a politician with little fingers or influencers who secretly lead a normal life. Some lyrics are funny, others serious: „Glow“ is about love and appreciating good moments in difficult times. „Youth And I“ deals with the question of why different generations with the same ideas on topics such as the environment, women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights or even the economy do not manage to form a unity, but instead allow themselves to be disturbed by something as silly as age differences.

The sound of Mint Mind combines sweet and sour, fuzzy riffs with the freedom and sentiment of 80’s post-punk/indie. Synthesizers have become a more central instrument this time. From playful and strange sounds to the eerie and dark, the album is littered with textures and ear candy to discover.
The album title is well chosen. „VG+“ is taken from the Goldmine Grading Standard for the evaluation of used vinyl records and means „Very Good +“ – background noise can occur occasionally, but not always. Older folks might certainly feel reminded of Dinosaur Jr. or The Cure, the younger ones of Diiv, Wavves or Gurr. And for a moment, the world is Very Good + (with background noise) for everyone.
Speaking of background noise: When Rick is not swinging his self-made Lego guitar at Mint Mind, he takes care of the technic, roadies and lead guitar in Tocotronic or spins records. In the Hamburger bar Mutter he plays Album/Adult Oriented Rock under the motto „AOR-Alles Klar?“. He moderates the songs and with a telephone receiver converted to a microphone the guests can also make requests. As the morning dawns over Hamburg, Rick packs up his Billy Joel, Chicago and Steely Dan albums, grabs his skateboard and rides back to his studio with the rising sun at his back.

“Sultan of Squat” furthers the band’s trajectory into themselves, polishing off thirteen songs filled with dubious characters, whimsical retreats, and even the odd love song. As with previous releases, The Cowboys refuse to make their bed in any single genre. Lead track, “The Sultan of Squat“ opens the album with an earworm salute to America’s pastime while lofting a lyrical curveball of dark, defeated humor. The boys kick it into high gear, playing with the finesse and dexterity ten years as a band instills. It’s automatic – whether they’re launching into classic Midwestern garage punk (“Raining Sour Grapes”), dialing things back to piano-driven power pop (“Token Drifter”), or western slide guitar pop-rock ballads („She’s Not Your Baby Anymore“), The Cowboys are simply incredible across “Sultan of Squat”.

This could well be The Cowboys‘ finest hour as a group, and six albums in – that’s no easy feat. The best of the Midwest is back under the bright lights, pouring collective blood, sweat, and tears into a sound equal parts then and now. *LP includes 11×17 full color poster


01. Contemporary Jaguars
02. Excuse The Excuse
03. Gold Card Member
04. Glow
05. Tiny Fingers
06. No Vision
07. Stratospheric Numbers
08. Youth And I
09. In The Sweet Land Of Mint