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Mexicolas - The Minerva Suite (Album Review)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 Written by Jonny Rimmer
Mexicolas - The Minerva Suite (Album Review)

For those in the room down on their history, Minerva was the mythological goddess who Romans believed invented music. This might be enough of a basis to conjure images of an epic concept album that transcends the beauty of sound as we know it. But instead, 'The Minerva Suite' is the second album by the distinctly unambitious Mexicolas.

That’s not to say that singer-songwriter Jamie Evans, who learned to play drums specifically for this record, doesn’t have a clear enough vision in terms of the Mexicolas sound. Each track has a driving pulse that prevents the wheels flying off at any point, and there’s enough melodic impulse in the cleverly layered guitar parts to keep listeners entertained.

ImagePerhaps the main flaw of the album shouldn’t come as a surprise then: it’s horribly one dimensional. The risk in making a radio-tailored rock album is that there has to be enough sing-along choruses, at least sporadically, to keep the ‘punters’ happy. The strongest tracks on here tend to be the ones where Evans actually does take a more off-road approach. For example ‘Fred Astaire’, the penultimate track, is essentially the only song that recalls the first album X’s layered but ferocious riffs.

Evans is a skilled singer but doesn’t give himself much material to play with. ‘Brightest Diamond’ and ‘Bright Sparks’ see him opt for a more anthemic route, but these high points are only so noticeable because they’re surrounded by an unadventurous, forgettable cluster of plodding guitar filler.

Kudos to Evans, who has reinvented Mexicolas after the departure of two of its members, but 'The Minerva Suite' is too monochrome to be considered essential.

Album Rating: 5/10

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