The pose is pure glam-rock, but Mink is all power-pop and no fat.
Pouty, bored, legs spread eagle ? Mink has the look down pat on the cover of its self-titled debut, except for a troubling lack of makeup, something KISS is never in short supply of.
Having scored a coveted opening slot for two KISS shows, and getting studio help from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool producer Sylvia Massy, Mink is set up to not to fail. And for the most part, the Aussie-American rock band doesn’t on its first voyage.
An adrenaline-fueled rush of crunchy, tight-as-a-glove rockers, Mink has attitude to spare and a never-ending supply of hooks. At times, like on the swaggering, high-octane energy drink “Talk To Me,” Mink comes off as a glitter-rock version of Ok Go, able to sink to the sneering, trashiness of New York Dolls (“Dematerialize”) or go fast and furious in the explosive choruses of “Pressure Pressure.”
Though undoubtedly influenced by the Stooges, this effort is missing the grit and guts of that band’s legendary early albums. Mink is a slicker, more pop-oriented unit, using breezy backing vocals, hand-claps and high-energy guitars to make sweet, slightly barbed ear candy that’s as sugary as a Jolly Rancher.
“Untouchable” is as infectious power-pop gets, while “Sweeter” hints at the Beach Boys’ summer-loving pop symphonies, only with sharper hooks.
Strange that KISS would choose hook up with a band like Mink that doesn’t play anything approaching metal, even the pop variety that an unmasked KISS used to indulge in.
The guitar-wrenching, horn-drenched “New York Summer” is a hyper-drive, full-bodied, pop-rock explosion that puts Mink’s sharp songwriting on display.
Even KISS might kill for this band’s future.