REVIEW: The Minks’ “Light and Sweet” is Anything But


The Minks’ Light and Sweet exists due to founder and front woman Nikki Barber’s “create or combust” attitude upon her arrival in Nashville. Her desire to form a psychedelic blues rock band materialized as The Minks. Light and Sweet, The Minks first full length release, due on September 20,  contains the scruffy energy that only Barber can muster. This is apparent from the first notes of “I’m Okay,” the album opener, where crunchy guitars and solid drums drives a tour de force through manic affirmations of well-being.

“J. Walker Blues” brings the bass to the forefront as Barber’s inflections mirror an angry late-night AM preacher while a harmonica wails painful cries of petitioners’ woes. “Let’s come together, let’s make some noise, instead of feeling like giving in and waiting around to die,” she sings. “I Want You” harkens back to 60’s era California with a hint of a surf rock chorus, galloping drumming, mellow harmony flourishes, and a fuzzed-out guitar break. The Minks hint at a mellower side on the first few bars of “Oh My My,” but before the listener settles into to this twist the band busts out of this box and embraces a groove that won’t let you sit still.

Throughout the record Barber holds center court with a powerful voice reminiscent of Grace Slick, while the band’s sound falls somewhere between The Kinks and Rev. Horton Heat with hints of Lydia Loveless and Trailer Bride. Movin’ On fully showcases this attitude, while Nothin’ No More takes a turn toward a mellower blues jovial and full of good times in contrast to the refrain, “I ain’t nothing no more”. Instantly catchier than the rest of the record and with a fun devil-may-care defiance, it is easy to see why Nothin’ No More was released as the first single off the record. Barbers’ vocal and piano focus Bring Your Lovin’ Home to Me into the appropriate intimacy of an album closer; subtle compliments of electric guitar fill in the open spaces. The Minks’ Light and Sweet is anything but; this record contains a weight and energy many wouldn’t associate with such a soft description. Heavy guitars and melancholy lyrics populate The Minks’ full length debut. While Barber sings, “Oh my my my, so many bridges burned, oh my my my, so many lessons to learn,” Light and Sweet showcases songwriting and performance at a pinnacle – the result of many lessons learned.

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