Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What to make of MINKA?

Sometimes the opening line of a press bio actually does nail what you can expect from a band:
MINKA is a dance band. They live, breathe, and procreate in Philadelphia. They will play your roof or basement, warehouse or venue. They will play the bottom of your swimming pool. Dick Rubin, leader of the band, has been known to perform fully nude.
Once you throw in that the title of their new EP is Born In The Viper Room, you have a really good idea what to expect, but Oingo Boingo and The Cars rub shoulders with the imagined LA scene in MINKA’s version of The Viper Room. So this is what The Viper Room would sound like if it relocated to Philadelphia?

Actually they do remind me of quirky, urgent groups from the late ‘90s, like Ima Robot. Not a bad thing.

The EP jumps all over the place—the band’s sound is there but it feels like a group of musicians who are a little too accomplished to be able to stay in one place. The opening track “ I Can’t Shake This Feeling” is pure new wave, followed by the disco-lite “Josephine,” which is followed by the David Bowie-influenced “Gravity.” Actually, “Gravity” sounds more like a straight up Bowie imitation (which is actually vocally spot on) and I honestly can’t decide if I really like it or if the straight up Black Tie White Noise-era rip is really annoying.

And then there's the Cars meets Queen "Company Man" followed by the—uh, is that a Prince vibe?—dancey "Still Waiting" ... the point is the EP is all over the place, but at five songs this musical ADHD is OK. I do suspect they are probably a 100% fun live, party party, band.

Check out the whole EP below and tell me what you think. You can either stream it or download it for free / pay what you want.

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