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Brooklyn's Mink Lungs exhale rock that suffers from a delightful identity crisis

Wednesday, Jun 11 2003
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Brooklyn's Mink Lungs could bring out the beleaguered parent in anyone, even those too young to remember the late-"80s golden age of slacker rock. You want to sit the band"s members down and command them to get a career going already. Here"s the lashing this quartet deserves, courtesy of our collective, inner stick-in-the-mud:

You call I"ll Take It an album? You can"t just jump from nutty lounge psychedelia like "Bunny Bought a Spaceship" to the candied jangle-funk duet "Catch Me" to Young Fresh Fellowsish rave-ups and tributes to the Nails. True, I can"t stop listening to the damned thing, but this is your second record -- you can"t just drift forever. And sure, you"re all good friends, but this ain"t Havana: Get a lead singer. Let"s have a good, old-fashioned clash of egos between the breathy waif, the scratchy rocker, and the guy with the King Missile novelty voice. See who comes out on top. Yeah, yeah, so the drummer patters around with a jazzy flair and the lead guitarist swoops and sails. Hell, you even rotate instruments at random, throw in bagpipes and dobro, and still sound like you know what you"re doing. But is this what I sent you to college for?

It"s time you kids learned some retro-garage rock, or else simplify, pout and pass for tortured indie-pop auteurs. This scruffy eclecticism never made any money for the Butthole Surfers. And why do you think David Lowery split up Camper Van Beethoven -- to follow his muse? Please! Make something of yourselves! What am I supposed to tell my friends?

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Andrew Marcus

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