Starlight Mints is a 5 piece band, bringing mostly quirky popsongs. Their earlier albums, 2000's Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, and 2003's Built on Squares, were uneven affairs, but clearly showing promise. After a long wait, now comes the band's third album.
"Drowaton" (12 tracks, 40 min.) is musically again all over the map, but the big difference is that this time each track feels completely fleshed out, even though many songs are short, in the 2 and 3 minute range. The best tracks are found primarily in the second half of the album, including the instrumental "Rhino Stomp" (with a stomping rythm, as implied by the title), the acoustic "The Killer", the Clash-like "Eyes of the Night", and the closer "Sidewalk", a 60s-like romper with horns. The overall feel to is reminds me of current bands like Spoon and the Greenhornes. Overall, "Drowaton" is a great album, which marks the great leap forward for Starlight Mints.
This album (which is spelled "Not a word" backwards) was released on the excellent label Barsuk Records, which houses other outstanding artists like Mates of State, Smoosh, Aqueduct and John Vanderslice, just to name a few. I haven't had an opportunity to see Starlight Mints in concert yet, but I'm looking forward to them coming to or near Cincinnati sometime soon.