w/Dolour, Crosstide, Dakona
Sun June 15, Graceland, doors 8 pm, $6, 21+.
Just as Detroit has reached the "Feh..." status of reactionary statements (He: "The band hails from Detroit!" She: "Feh... you don't say"), soon, too, will the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn. Since 2000, it has become the address of choice for shrugging hipsters bored by Manhattan, but right now a whole faction of great bands--Enon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Black Dice, Interpol, the Walkmen, French Kicks, Fischerspooner--are riding the Williamsburg wave. The same can be said for the Mink Lungs, a one-gal, three-guy band that takes pop and shatters it into glimmering shards of jagged, crazy fun.
2001's The Better Button was good, but the just-released I'll Take It (the CD cover features a woman with a glass of water in one hand and an entertaining-looking blue pill in the other) finds the four-singer, four-songwriter band resplendent in its quirky cohesiveness. A male voice purrs, "You look ferocious," on album-opener "Black Balloon" before power chords, noisy feedback, and plenty of wah-wah blow in and take over the velvety thoughts of "drinking from July to June," a line that conveys the flaw in the plan: Even 12 months of schnockered bliss can't kill a really bad mood.
A gliding acoustic tune won't stay that way for long: "Start from Scratch" begins to sound downright itchy before the song hits its midpoint. "Men in Belted Sweaters" is a hilarious comment on the current trend in tight tops for boys ("They're kinda knitty/Kind of tight-fitting/Isn't it a pity/that we can't all be/men in belted sweaters"), but it sounds like pure '70s cowbell-banging power pop--without the cowbell, because this is 2003.
Female singer Jennifer "Miss Frosty" Hoopes draws the band's comparisons to Surfer Rosa-era Pixies, and her sweet, soft vocals sound not unlike those of Kim Deal, but there's no Black Francis in the Mink Lungs. Tom Galbraith and brothers Gian Carlo and Tim Feleppa sound much weirder--their caressing vocals catch listeners off-guard when the silly lyrics, twirling keyboards, and explosive guitar kick in as they do on every song, riding each out until the last note is nothing less than a fucking blast.