Thurs Sept 23
Red & Black Café

2138 SE Division

I hear complaints from both directions: "[Band Name Here]'s new record is so boring, it sounds exactly like all their old stuff." Or, "[BNH]'s new album is terrible, I mean what are they trying to do, become electro-Floyd?" As the saying goes, you can't please all of the people all of the time, which is a concept local band Minmae readily embraces, and yet a feat they almost succeed in accomplishing.

Within the past couple years they've put out an experimental noise album, Microcassette Quatrains, filled with old basement recordings, and most recently, a cleaner, poppy, yet still noise-tinged full length, ¿Ya Te Vas?. When I first fell in love with Minmae, it was after the release of their most classic indierock album, 2002's My Quiet Life. The record's lo-fi guitar sound combined with band leader Sean Brooks' deep, contemplative, and slightly morbid vocals make for a near perfect late-night listening record, and one that built a solid platform for new songs to jump off from.

Sean commented on Minmae's morphing style, saying "I'm stoked that all of the six full lengths I've done have a unique sound. It's not like Minmae is big enough that if we make a new, different kind of record we're going to alienate anyone. People expect us to change, and that way we can make each album its own entity."

¿Ya Te Vas?, released in June on Devil In the Woods, succeeds so well because it combines the best of all the band's capabilities. The songs' pop constructions, visceral guitar sound, and occasional forays into both noise and heavy guitar rock make sure there is something for everyone, without watering any of the elements down. They manage to create an utterly charming lo-fi sound that's worked into intricate and highly intelligent compositions.

So, by constantly crossing genre lines and changing and recycling their style in new ways, Minmae keeps from disappointing anyone. And with each release, the band always creates something new and fascinating.