Published Dec 01, 2013There's enough extraordinary rock music on Roland to inspire one to pack the kids and your cat up in the car and move to Kalamazoo, Michigan, just to be closer to Minutes. It's difficult to place, but there's something about this batch of inspired excellence that sneaks up and stirs a whole lotta love within you.
Opener "Get Off Your Ass" is an unassuming earworm that conjures the criminally underrated Dischord band Hoover, and its snidely empowering message is delivered via an infectious, always welcome chorus. This kind of casual pop acumen is rare in post-punk, but Minutes have this knack for delivering cool, super charged songs with economic precision (12 songs, 28 minutes, no polkas). "Against Your Will" is just flying through the air right away, and while it's unclear if it ever touches down, the band knows how to swing, too. "I've Learned to Roll" has finesse and power and "Boxes" has cool indie-rock production flourishes. Then, just as the record seems to hit a '90s-friendly stylistic stride, "Paring Knife" shows up and recalls Propagandhi in its sparse, raw emotional power.
Roland is just a special blast of noise out of the Midwest, as uplifting as any no-frills rock music made of late, and Minutes are worth every one. (Comedy Minus One/Michigan Independent Network)