Minks - Tides End
(Captured Tracks 2013)
"Minks has buffed out its lo-fi scratches, opting for a shimmering, synth-heavy New Wave sound."
Buzzing with the sugary energy of a cardboard 7" record clipped from a 60's cereal box, Minks' sophomore album, Tides End kicks off in magnificent fashion with its groovy opening track "Romans". While the band's 2011 debut, By The Hedge was coated in a layer of shoegaze grime, Minks, like most of the other acts on the Captured Tracks label, has buffed out its lo-fi scratches, opting for a shimmering, synth-heavy New Wave sound. Lyrically and sonically, Tides End seems to be a nice companion piece to Ducktails' recent LP The Flower Lane, examining the lifestyle, romances and decline of the bourgeoisie. Though not one of the label's more hyped albums, Minks' new full-length just might be the best release put out by Captured Tracks this year.
Following the celebratory opener, the album begins to mellow with breezy cuts like "Everything's Fine" and "Playboys of the Western World", their chillwave-y vibes pairing nicely with Sean Kilfoyle's laid-back vocal delivery, similar in pitch and tone to that of Craft Spells' Justin Vallesteros. After an overlyspirited A-side, Tides End's flipside begins with "Painted Indian", providing some much-needed post-punk gravitas. Driven by an ultra-repetitive chorus sure to be stuck in your head for weeks to come, the Modern English-meets-The Cure vibe of the track hearkens back to Minks' debut. Coating the band's "classic" sound with a brand new studio sheen was a great move, and at the moment, "Painted Indian" is my favorite cut off the album. If you're on the lookout for a quick, accessible hit of solid pop songcraft, then look no further than Tides End.
Listen to "Painted Indian" below.