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Mini Mansions have released their third record Guy Walks Into A Bar… featuring eleven tracks. Front man Michael Shuman comments on the title:
“It started off as a joke because it is a joke. It’s a way to start off the story of a relationship that ends up getting much deeper”
Guy Walks Into A Bar… was written with a narrative about love in mind. It follows a story from beginning to end — finding someone special, experiencing all the wonderful feelings, and finally breaking up.
‘Should Be Dancing’ has a feeling of letting loose while trying to find a connection. ‘Bad Things (That Make You Feel Good)’ describes a feeling becoming a vice. It’s a completely different style, standing out from the rest of the Mini Mansions catalogue. ‘Don’t Even Know You’ explores the feeling of attraction to a stranger, knowing that’s all you’ll ever be — a stranger.
Smack bang in the middle of the album, ‘I’m In Love’ explores the delirious feeling of wanting another before recklessly abandoning the one you have. ‘Time Machine’ deals with things that are out of control, detailing a time the narrator would like to rewrite. ‘Works Every Time’ is next. It examines a codependent relationship where the narrator loses sight of the relationship’s difficulties.
Throughout the album, some familiar voices pop up. The Kills’ front woman Alison Mosshart sings on ‘Hey Lover’, while Z Berg (The Like) offers backing vocals on ‘Forgot Your Name’ and ‘Living In The Future’. ‘GummyBear’ has a fun vibe despite it’s lyrical tone — trying to change someone who wasn’t the right person.
It’s hard to compare this to previous releases because it’s so dynamically and stylistically different. There’s a more personal tone throughout, delivered with dancy synth showcasing catchy melodies and hooks.
It’s a record full of top-notch instrumentals and personal lyrics, likely to engage listeners from the start. Truly, it’s a tremendous work of art. Shuman handles vocals for the most part, while Tyler Parkford lends his voice to tracks ‘Forgot Your Name’ and ‘Don’t Even Know You’. Finally, ‘Tears In Her Eyes’ opens on a high before settling to close out the album.
Although there is a fast-paced dynamism throughout the album, there’s also a groovy, rock n’ roll vibe that will make the listener get up and dance. There’s psychedelic, post-punk, and rock influence present. Mini Mansions perfectly navigate the listener’s attention through each track, while also exploring an emotional fallout.
Shuman, the singer/guitarist, — and QOTSA bassist — wrote the hard-hitting lyrics. Almost as soon as they were penned, the self-reflective stories were put to sleek, pop instrumentals — upbeat and heart-wrenching all at once, much like the record.