835 pushes songwriter Sean Brooks' cheeky sense of humor farther to the front than it's ever been before.
It feels like Minmae has been around forever -- or maybe it's just the obscene amount of product they seem intent on pushing out. Yes, it would seem that the songwriting process is not necessarily a complicated one for Minmae, one of those bands that ascribes to the "write it, record it, release it" production process, with nary a "rewrite it" in sight. Still, it's a formula that seems to work for the band, as their product is always interesting, a magnetic mix of lo-fi aesthetics and relatively subdued vocals. 835 is no exception to the formula, though it does push songwriter Sean Brooks' cheeky sense of humor farther to the front than it's ever been before -- how else to explain lyrical turns like "My bling bling is on fire / And you ask me what I use it for", smile-inducing song titles like "Your Band Controls the Weather", or the use of "Ride the Lightning" as the title of a creepy, sprawling, somewhat Flaming Lips-evoking epic? Metallica would be so... confused. Sure, 70 minutes is a lot to ask of a listener to pay attention to a lo-fi band who doesn't seem to care all that much about catchy melodies or gripping tales, but Brooks still manages to make those 70 minutes sound fascinating via genre exploration and his newly-genial nature. It's DIY from a band that's had enough time by now to figure out what it's doing. Not bad.