MINK15 – ‘GONE’ – ALBUM REVIEW
Mink15 is Wales-based singer-songwriter Ash Molloy and producer Andy Cotterill, with additional guitar by Rob Kearns. Its lush sound is reminiscent of such atmospheric heavyweights as Portishead, Massive Attack and Sneaker Pimps. It opens with a reggae intro and first track ‘Sickening Love’
, the first single from the album; spacious, sparse production and replete with glockenspiel and strings. The highlight however is the lyrics, particularly the chorus couplet ‘Sickening love / sick and in love
‘Birdie and Salvo’
heralds the first use of the Rhodes piano, using the instrument’s inbuilt tension to build to a powerful rock chorus. Ash has written powerful lyrics too, dealing with drug addiction.
cranks it up another notch with beautifully atmospheric horns. This song again shows Ash’s lyrical prowess, comparing bus routes to relationships. There are, I suspect, some Sneaker Pimps and Everything But the Girl influences here….
Now with instrumental track ‘Moon Drone’
it all goes a bit psychedelic: chiming Floyd-esque guitars, rumbling bass and tablas create a complex, rich sound. And next, the album really gets into its stride, with ‘The Thing’
, the catchiest song in this collection. The backing is deep and rumbling, suggested rather than stated; the howls and echoes give real weight to the sound; and the jazz drums and minimal acoustic strums add detail to this superb song.
Experimental track ‘Christmas Beetle’
provides variation, and the producer gets a chance to shine: a short track with a glitchy intro, synth washes and vocal fragments. Next up, ‘Demolition’
and ‘Moth in My Ear’
feature the finest production work on the album, with lush vocal echoes, pristine synth sounds and powerful beats.
The main set of 10 songs closes with the distorted vocals of (partial) title track ‘Gone – and Back’
. But there are yet more surprises to follow: two interesting remixes of Sickening Love close the LP. In a sense they’re bonus tracks, but they add considerably to the depth of the album. Producer Andy can once again do some showing off, first with an excellent dub version mirroring the album intro, then with a stripped-down acoustic mix to finish. The latter showcases just how good the ‘pure’ song is, presented as it is with no production frills.
~ Greg Hurst (B Movie Junkies)
You can listen and purchase here: