Posted Jan 9th, 2012 (6:31 pm) by Ross Condit
The Minutes
The Minutes
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The Minutes are an edgy Dublin trio that reminds me of a combo of the White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle club with a hint of 70’s rock. Their first single, “The Black Keys” is somewhat of a tribute to that band, but don’t get too hung up on the name. The sound isn’t especially similar, and “Black Keys” is probably the closest thing to pop/rock (it isn’t at all, really) on The Minutes’ self-titled debut EP, or forthcoming LP. This is gritty gritty rock & roll that’s going to make those of you longing for some smashing real rock glad you came to the party.

Speaking of the party, these cats put on one hell of a good one. Their live shows are insane rippers that mix up completely unrefined garage rock with gospel elements, punk, and R&B. Frontman, Mark Austin’s, banter with the crowd includes him channeling his inner pirate as he berates the crowd. He writhes on the stage floor as he grinds out the notes on his guitar, sometimes even playing with his teeth a la Jimi Hendrix.

The Minutes have their stagecraft down, largely due to the fact that they’re all friends who have been playing together since the mid-nineties. The band includes the aforementioned Mark Austin (vocals/guitar), and his cousin Shane Kinsella (drums/backing vocals). Mark and cousin Shane then recruited friend, Tom Cosgrave (bass/backing vocals), who shares a love of all things old school NYC punk (think New York Dolls), The Smiths, and Thin Lizzy.

I rarely include information on an album’s producer, because frankly, unless you’re a real industry insider, it’s not all that interesting. In this case, The Minutes’ producer and the equipment he recorded the album on add a richness to the album that would be lessened (at the very least) if Kevin McMahon hadn’t worked with the band. McMahon has lent his talents to some of the best bands playing today – Titus Andronicus, Frightened Rabbit, The Felice Brothers, Swans, and many more. Kevin records out of his large barn in upstate New York on a 24 Track Analog Tape using vintage mics, and pre-amps that he then refines. The echo of the barn flavors the music as well.

The Minutes release their self-titled EP on February 14th (these guys and Valentine’s Day – now THAT’ll get you somethin’) and will set sail with their live, scuttle the ship, take no prisoners attitude at the upcoming SXSW 2012. Their full length disc, Marcata is due out January 30 in the UK.

The Minutes - Black Keys (Official Video) from The Minutes on Vimeo.

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