Release Date: Nov 2, 2010
Record label: Ipecac
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
If you have been lucky enough to witness the current Queens Of The Stone Age live show, you will doubtless have noticed Michael Shuman. When he’s in full flight, it’s hard to take your eyes off the shaggy haired, muscle bound, force of nature. It is one thing for Shuman to hold his own in the onstage magnetism stakes against master of ceremonies Josh Homme and his hulk of a drummer Joey Castillo.
Pop wouldn’t be around were it not for The Beatles, they say. But few new bands owe as much to Lennon and McCartney’s gang than Mini Mansions. With Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael “Mikey Shoes” Shuman taking a breather from that instrument—instead, he performs guitar and drums and sings—the L.A. trio’s debut is to shimmering Brit pop what QOTSA is to hard rock.
Queens of the Stone Age is the band that doesn’t stop giving. Here we have another promising product from the QOTSA family: bassist Michael Shuman’s Mini Mansions and their self-titled debut. Composed of Shuman and his longtime friends Tyler Parkford and Zach Dawes, the trio concocted here a winning mix of distortion, psychedelic modernism, and a dreamy shot of nostalgic pop music.
It’s not a surprise that Mini Mansions, the warped pop project of Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman and friends Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford, released their self-titled debut album on QOTSA frontman Josh Homme’s label Rekords Rekords (with a co-release assist from Mike Patton’s imprint Ipecac Records). To a certain extent, the trio also keeps it in the family musically: the tension between their insistent melodies and bad attitude suggests a lighter version of Homme and company’s more whimsical moments (particularly on the excellent “Monk”) and their vocals, at their brassiest, recall Patton’s bravado. The band’s knack for hooks and harmonies puts them in the realm of power poppers like Fountains of Wayne -- though Shuman and friends are much, much less chipper -- and their fondness for molesting a singalong tune with plenty of aggression occasionally recalls Nirvana.