So full disclosure I run a record label and I’ve come to an agreement with Blood Makes Noise to let me promote releases every week. The idea is every week I will present a playlist with some new Mint 400 Records music and what I think inspired our songwriters. This week it’s an indie rock buffet. I feel like this weeks bands represent what is at the heart of Mint 400 Records releases for the last decade. Mellow and accessible with a broad range of influences from garage rock to 90’s alternative, all three bands this week blend that into their own brand of memorable and unique songs.
Starting with Blue Vervain this week I chose to compare them to The Shins because partially I hear the 60’s influence in both but both also have something very modern about their overall sound. This is just a taste of Blue Vervain as they prepare for their second full length next month. In a similar way Baltimore’s Underlined Passages has a very 90’s influence to their music that lies somewhere between the stuff that influenced Sunny Day Real Estate to the mellower side of Smashing Pumpkins. I think the soft side of Blilly Corgan’s voice correlates to Michael Nestor of Underlined Passages voice and the cadence and flow he often chooses in his delivery. This is the first Underlined Passages track in a few years and it shows the band has not lost a step. This song appears as a single and also on the Michael W. Nestor Retrospective.
I guess when you are a label for this long it’s inevitable that more and more of your bands will have decade long Retrospectives. Next on the list is one of NJ’s most prolific bands and songs from their ten year retrospective. Sink Tapes to me over the years always had a 60’s feel like the lesser known garage rock bands of the day like The Creation, The Seeds or Love and then mix that all up with 80’s indie stuff like REM and Guided By Voices and you can approximate the influences but I think they stretch way beyond that as well. As you can hear from the tracks I picked, these are from what I consider to be the band hitting their stride with songwriting.
- Neil Sabatino, BMN Contributor