are an LA
based power pop
band based around multi-instrumentalists Darian Sahanaja
and Nick Walusko
. Various other members have come and gone, but the band seems to have stabilised with drummer Mike D'Amico
and bass player Probyn Gregory
. There seems some dispute as to whether Gregory is actually a band member (he is also a member of The Negro Problem
) but he is pictured on album sleeves and plays at all gigs, so this is somewhat academic.
The band are best known for their work on the Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery soundtrack and for the fact that they are, along with Jeff Foskett, the core of Brian Wilson's touring band (although on the most recent tour D'Amico has been replaced with frequent Wilson collaborator Andy Paley while D'Amico does pre-production work on a 'Mints album), but they have also released several tapes plus three 'proper' albums.
Wonderful World Of The Wondermints is a CD of covers, originally only released in Japan, where the mints' style is more popular than in the west; Wondermints is their eponymous debut and Bali, their most recent album, is generally considered their best. They also appear on Wilson's Live At The Roxy.
Their eponymous debut is a good introduction to the band, showing off their skill at combining their 60s influences with a more modern feel. Sahanaja in particular is a very gifted songwriter who has a unique way with melody. The closest comparison is possibly Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach's collaborations, but with a rockier edge. The tracklisting follows:
- Tracy Hide
- She Opens Heaven's Door
- Thought Back
- Global Village Idiot
- Playtex Aviary
- In A Haze
- Carnival Of Souls