By The Hedge By The Hedge


Minks MinksBy The Hedge

6.8 / 10

Minks  By The Hedge


The first effort by Minks, the nostalgic and slightly disoriented (because of the fog surrounding each and every track on it) “By The Hedge”, serves as a blurry souvenir of an era that has already placed itself (via Captured Tracksand hype created by mostly noise-addicted girls) in a dirty corner of the present panorama and that’s ready to gaze at its own shoes until they send it back to the limbo it came from. Yes, “By The Hedge” is another bastard child of the mythical C86 (the tape made by NME back in 1986, which included unpolished tracks by The Mackenzies and The Shurbs, which at the time was considered an evolution from post-punk and which debased the legacy of early-era The Cure), and it moves between the ethereal doom of The Sundays and the misty sonic disorientation of Castanets (without the folk component, of course).

The youngsters in leather jackets are Shaun Kilfoyle (frontman) and Amalie Brum, they live in Brooklyn (of course), although they grew up in Boston (rainy, grey Boston), which is why they sound like eternal autumn (on the intro, a couple of voices drag on through the dry leaves: “Kusmi”). What started as a lo-fi experiment (a few kids recording songs in their bedrooms) ended up being the first serious contender of this year when it comes to retro post-punk with the occasional light industrial touch ( “Life At Dusk”), lazy, weakened riffs ( “Out Of Tune”) and forest litanies ( “Arboretum Dogs”). Standout tracks are the ones that have already been 7” singles, the very Sundaysesque (like broken dolls) “Funeral Song” and that partly clouded sky in which suddenly a kind of minimalist toy pop explodes like a ray from the sun hiding behind it ( “Our Ritual” and “Ophelia”).

They haven’t got the depth (nor the mainstream potential) of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, but they don’t need it, either. Their songs are little (some are ultra short, like the marvellous “Boys Run Wild”, which is almost a sketch, a pencil-drawn piece of ambient pop; but they can also leave scars, as on “Bruises”). Hypnotic and grey like an unlucky day in some rainy city, “By The Hedge” is, more than a handful of songs, a feeling of going downhill, rolling around in memories of moments when you weren’t especially happy but you were there until the end. It’s not self-pity, it’s pure nostalgia. And it’s not easy to find an album that evokes such feeling (and in such a foggy way, as if you were trapped in a dream), so, although the effort is far from a masterpiece, the attempt sounds very promising.

Laura Fernández

Minks - Kusmi {youtube width="100%" height="25"}ywGMiIDg9K4{/youtube}

Minks - Life at Dusk {youtube width="100%" height="25"}mXNZ9SDANAI{/youtube}

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