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Classic Album Review

Album Review: Mink Mussel Manticore

ALBUM: “Mink Mussel Manticore” by Mink Mussel Creek

RELEASE YEAR: 2007/2014

LABEL: Spinning Top Records

RATING: 8/10

BEST TRACKS: “They Dated Steadily,” “Meeting Waterboy” and “PROMISING QUINTET RISE TO POWER (MACHO PEACHU)”

FCC: Clean

When I first heard the song “They Dated Steadily” on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, I would’ve never thought Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker was behind it. With its heavy metal riffs and psychedelic feel, I immediately fell in love with the 13-minute-long song and the album it came from, “Mink Mussel Manticore.”

Parker and Allbrook originally formed Mink Mussel Creek in 2007. “Mink Mussel Manticore” came into being the same year, but wasn’t officially recorded and subsequently released until 2014 when the two musicians reunited. By this time, both Pond and Tame Impala had reached international success, so the gem that is Mink Mussel Creek was left widely forgotten. “Mink Mussel Manticore,” their only album, delves more into the heavier side of garage rock and psychedelia. Imagine “Thickfreakness” by the Black Keys on steroids sprinkled with some Hendrix-esc guitar, and then you’d get something like “Mink Mussel Manticore.” It’s hard to believe the album is only seven songs long. Each track feels like an epic, filled with layers of wild riffs and beat switches.

It’s easy to see how both Pond and Tame Impala stemmed from Mink Mussel Creek, but as Parker and Allbrook went their separate ways, they both softened their tone. What I love about “Mink Mussel Manticore” is its unapologetic heaviness. It’s the kind of album you have to play on full blast. Tracks like “Cat Love Power” and “HANDS OFF THE MANNEQUIN CHARLIE” switch pace often, keeping you on your toes and wanting more. Though songs like “PROMISING QUINTET RISE TO POWER (MACHO PEACHU)” and “Meeting Waterboy” stray more into the funk/blues arena, the rest of the album is a sludgy, fuzzy psychedelic journey.

Give it a listen!

– DJ Butter