Local Wire

Starlight Mints

Spending time with the Starlight Mints' latest release, Drowaton, is like wandering through a carnival fun house, bouncing down rippling hallways past mind-bending mirrors to the bipolar accompaniment of lusty keyboard swirls, dagger-wielding lyrics, and sighed choruses. The foursome has been mutating conceptual pop since the '90s, and Drowaton is its third hum-friendly release. Wistful vocals bop playfully over roiling melodies, insistent drums, and loping guitars. Smart-ass horns and sophisticated strings are lovingly layered lasagna-thick with head-tilting sound effects, from R2D2-worthy whirring to random kazoo buzzing and cheerful sea chanty whistling. While the band's lyrics dip into surrealism at times ("All he ever wanted was the key to everything, a sordid memory and four new batteries"), the obtuseness of the poetry fits ever so comfortably within the musical mayhem. Sure, the Starlight Mints may seem crazy, but the longer you stay in their fun house, the more their jabberwocky vibe starts to feel just right.

Starlight Mints, dios (malos), and The Octopus Project are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, May 3 at Modified Arts.

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Lori Ellison