Menthol Danger: Rock Science!

Originally recorded over three years ago when still signed to Capitol, Menthol were supposedly dumped because the album was a bit too "new wave" sounding. This newly recorded version shows off their appreciation for late '70s/early '80s rock somewhere in the realm of Devo, Gary Numan and early material by the Cars. The overall sound is thick, fast and catchy, with the exception of the dull ballad "Strange Living." Like NYC's current darlings Interpol, they absorb these new wave influences and transform them into a modern art-rock experience, although Menthol sounds like they are having a lot more fun. The lack of gloom makes this album a bit more mainstream sounding, but refreshing nonetheless. Singer Balthazar de Ley camps things up a bit, so there is most likely a tongue-in-cheek attitude beneath the songs as well. (Parasol)