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The Steak House Mints - Out Of The Sky (Independent)
There were a lot of power-pop type bands coming out of Chicago in the '80s and '90s, but it's all slowed down over recent years. In fact, The Steak House Mints are the first new band of that particular ilk I've heard from the windy city in a while. Not that they're a straight up Beatles / Byrds / Big Star inspired pop combo, hanging their songs on a hook, and forgetting the finer points of songcraft. They appear to be in possession of illustrious and eclectic record collections and, under the guidance of songwriter and vocalist Billy Dave Sherman, they've made the most of them. They mix up those classic pop melodies with a host of other influences, both contemporary and some a little longer in the tooth. So whilst maintaining a consistent overall sound and feel, we're spoilt with a collection of extremely polished and beautifully arranged pop songs, which bring to mind artists as diverse as Flaming Lips, Colin Bluntstone, ELO, Tom Petty and Cars. If any of the above is of interest, feel free to check out their MySpace page
Rob F.