Starlight Mints Drowaton

The Starlight Mints are a hard bunch to pin down. With their psychedelic pop tunes, there have been lazy comparisons to fellow Oklahomans the Flaming Lips, but short of the geographical connection, it isn’t quite that simple. Finding somewhere close to both the Kinks and Olivia Tremor Control to call their musical home, the Starlight Mints have become a more intriguing act as their career has progressed. In their earlier days, their weirdness seemed unrestrained and so the resultant recordings were interesting, yet patchy. But things have really come together on their third album. Drowaton is a playful record that creates three-minute epic pop experiments that are dense with vocal harmonies and layers of weird noises that somehow add to the whole experience without overwhelming it. Rather than trying too hard to be strange, they do it effortlessly whilst not forgetting that there should be a good song at the heart of it all. And good songs there are. It starts off strongly with the falsetto-ridden "Pumpkin” and the continually shifting "Torts,” and doesn’t really stop for breath until the halfway point. Naturally, this might not be for everyone, but those who remember the Elephant 6 days fondly will be happy that its spirit lives on. (Barsuk)