Change Remains

Change Remains

Three years after the sparkling Drowaton, Oklahoma’s Starlight Mints continue scraping the bottom of the pop music pot, stirring up forgotten bits of classic ‘60s sounds and ‘90s oddball instrumental pairings, and simmering them with a post-modern, oompah-infused bravado. How many bands would open with an instrumental track comprised of what sounds like a polite didgeridoo snaking though hissy hi-hats, keyboard plinkings and a spy movie backbeat? Allan Vest’s vocals are as warm and familiar as original chameleon David Bowie’s, and as pliable and adroit; Vest locks into dance and funk grooves with surprising agility. While there are plenty of sinuous rhythms afoot, there’s also plenty of appealing edginess:  the blinking bass line of “Zoomba” is like something lifted from an old Can record, and as the tune builds — blocks of innumerable sound pieces fall together in precise order — it carries the same sort of unease that the seminal German band was known for. Other tunes, such as “Power Bleed” and “Gazeretti,” with their clattering, cinematic layers and dark lyrics, would be perfectly at home on a Tim Burton soundtrack.

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