No Ripcord Album Review - The Mink Lungs - "The Better Button"
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The Mink Lungs
"The Better Button" (Arena Rock Recordings / Rykodisc)

Four tracks into The Better Button and I'm preparing to write very complimentary things about The Mink Lungs. The fantastic opener I Sell Love sounds like it may well be heralding the arrival of a new indie-rock superpower; sounding like an extra-melodic hybrid of Guided By Voices and Olivia Tremor Control, it really does deserve your attention (file sharing types take note).

Silent Sex has the unenviable task of following on from I Sell Love but in a position where anything but the best would appear grossly inferior, it actually does the unthinkable and eclipses its predecessor. And when Watch Yourself and Think Of Me present a gentler, but equally enjoyable side to The Mink Lungs, it's no surprise that my expectations for the rest of the album are enormously high.

Too high. Synthesiser Baby is the first hint that the Mink Lungs' bubble is about to burst, and while Your Nose Lights Up The Dark offers a fleeting moment of relief, the chopped up mess of Widths & Lengths and the noisy punk chaos of Oscillator just about combine to destroy all the album's earlier momentum. From here on in The Better Button is a relatively mixed affair. No one track matches the achievements of the first four (although the lo-fi strum-along of Blue And Creme Car comes fairly close) and a couple invite intervention from the ever-trusty skip button.

The Better Button could have been brilliant. Instead, it is merely good. If you can put up with the noisy detours into the realms of intentional weirdness, you will love it. I can't, and therefore don't. But on the strength of the first four tracks alone, I know I will continue to revisit this collection for some time to come... 7/10

Reviewed By David Coleman
14th of September 2002


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