January 1, 2009

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The Mint Chicks, Crazy Yes Dumb No
Milan Records, Sept. 9, 2008

New Zealand art-wavers Mint Chicks are commonly misinterpreted, delightfully adept at acting inept, and the potential next BFF of cool-record-store speakers. Commercial 80s-pogo a la The Jam finds itself off-roading down a cliff while handcuffed to first-year Yeah Yeah Yeahs on one side and post-metal drone on the other, all this happening with the “real” studio engineer off in the corner bound and gagged with green duct tape while the kids use the mixing board as a Chicken McNugget serving tray.
Stupid fun, yes, predominantly old-school punk-pop, and they sound like chicks when they sing, sort of like Geddy Lee with ants in his pants, adding B-52s kookiness when warranted. Much as their young fans have the nasty habit of slapping important-sounding labels to them (“experimental pop,” “art-post-punk”), the fact is that safety-pin Rip van Winkles won’t need to read the manual, even if things like the doomy, almost Tool-like break in “Funeral Day” has them squinting around for leather-jacket mullet-heads. AEWS