Sunday, May 29, 2011
Mr Peppermint 'Loose Lips'
Riding high from a show on Saturday night courtesy of National Minimum Rage this blog post is a gushfest over MR PEPPERMINT, who did things with a guitar that brought a stunned crowd in Dalston to their knees. I'd never heard of them and nothing could have prepared me for what was in store when this duo turned up and plugged in. Guitarist Jack Mellin wears a mask with a mic duct tape into it that's intrinsic to his style of playing, freeing him from a static mic stand Mellin can naturally roam while performing. The sheer velocity of the songs coupled with tribal drumming from Jonny Rankin left the audience stunned, as soon as I got home I found a download to one of their albums 'Loose Lips' and it's been on repeat ever since.
'In The Club' sets the tone for the record on an unhinged note swirling with screeches, moans and erratic acoustic plucking layered over distorted guitars before launching into 'Carp Act', where the album fully stretches out its legs. This song embodies what they do live, strained vocals and doomed guitars played in a rhythmic catatonic state. Mr Peppermint remains firmly in control of the chaos created through the sludgey noise, menacing guitars and echo laden disenchanted vocals. The album pokes at listeners particularly in 'Kevin', which features sound effects of crowds clapping and laughing building on the sense of anxiety Mellin's guitar playing had already laid foundations for. Throughout the twelve songs lofty melodies waft through and bring a folk quality to the record especially on 'Hyndland Road'. Closer 'Pull Off Your Lips' plaintively threatens "I'll break your legs/I'll cut off you toes/I'm gonna break your arm/I'll take your little finger/I'm going to break your heart/I'll put it back together and tear it apart", unaffected vocals with soft guitars, gentle tapping rhythms and piano arrangements balance out the onslaught of noise on 'Loose Lips'. I never thought I'd enjoy the sensation of feeling like my eardrums were going to explode, until seeing Mr Peppermint. Formed from the ashes of Hyena this duo from Scotland took me, and everyone else by surprise. Last Saturday this twosome created a transcendent experience and there was nowhere else on the planet I would have rather been than watching Mr Peppermint.
* For fans of Magik Markers
Free download of 'Loose Lips'
Their online shop - ridiculously cheap gear!