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items tagged with Mini Mansions

Sugarcoating Dark Cores: Mini Mansions, December 11 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-12-02 15:47:44

Mini Mansions. Photo by Dustin Rabin.

If you want a sense of what Mini Mansions sounds like, interviews and reviews often reference the Beatles’ experimental side and the late singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. But you’re advised not to raise the comparisons with Michael Shuman, the Queens of the Stone Age bassist who formed Mini Mansions in early 2009.

Shuman has previously been up-front about the influences of and his love for the Beatles and Smith, but when I asked him about Mini Mansions’ new self-titled album compared to the Beatles, he responded curtly: “I don’t think it sounds anything like them.” A lot of writers have repeated the comparison, he said, but “I just think it was the wrong bandwagon.”

A trio that primarily employs keyboards, bass, drums, and voices, Mini Mansions – performing at RIBCO on December 11 – plays pop music that immediately grabs you but is also streaked with oddity and darkness. The Beatles comparison is frankly inevitable because of the vocal style and harmonies, and the spirit of Smith is undeniable as well. (For the record, outside of a closing scream and vocal flourish in “Monk,” there’s barely a hint of Queens of the Stone Age.)

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