Mink Lungs The Better Button

The Mink Lungs are just plain hazardous to themselves. Imagine having a band of four energetic musicians that all like to rock out and write their own tunes. What should be trouble brewing in the Lungs' camp actually works mostly to their benefit on The Better Button. Opting not to stick to any one sound for their debut album, each member has messed about with the four-track to come up with 15 songs that range from psychedelic country jams to hyper fits of sludge rock. Tom Galbraith, the best songwriter of the bunch, somehow manages a magnificent Kurt Wagner doing Bob Mould impersonation on the Western-tinged "Think Of Me" and "Blue and Creme Car." Gian Feleppa's "Silent Sex" is one part David Gedge and one part Tom Waits, using the former's knack for quick, bouncy pop songs. It is only Jennifer Hoopes' songs that confuse the flow of the album. Favouring a sloppier, grunge sound, Hoopes sounds out of place with her spacey noises and distorted vocals. "Skin Or No Skin" sounds more suitable for a Bardo Pond record than it does for The Better Button. Although there is plenty of talent shown by this foursome, it might be in their interest to chose one main songwriter because right now they have three too many. (Arena Rock)