A horrible hack

Mr. Peppermint

Loose Lips

Year Released: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Winning Sperm Party
Reviewed by Phil Differ on Apr 10, 2010
Every city has its band which, when active, never received the recognition they deserved. For me the Glaswegian example is Hyena, a highly emotional alternative rock trio who only occasionally performed outwith Glasgow. Luckily two thirds of the defunct group, drummer Johnny and guitarist Jack are allowing their creative juices to flow in their new incarnation known as Mr Peppermint.

Wasting no time on demos, their first release, ‘Loose Lips’, is a full length available for free through download. By the closing segments of the second track, it’s apparent that this dynamic two-piece are hell-bent on perplexing the listener with a concrete combination of dissonance and melody. They mix the Sonic Youth influenced moments of their former band with a Bardo Pond style psychedelic assault. Not only do the guitar, vocals and drums compliment each other superbly but the dynamics are always suitably placed. The riffs are reminiscent of Jesus Lizard, Dinosaur Jr and, to an extent, the mellower moments of Converge but it’s the use of instrument and vocal effects, plus the lyrical wit which provide the originality.

The fake crowd applause during ‘Kevin’ and various other bizarre samples suggests that this is Scotland’s answer to the Butthole Surfers. The third track, ‘The Chorus Girl’ stands out as one of the best as the verse-chorus structure is based upon building up a great deal of tension then exploding. The album closes with ‘Pull off Your Lips’, a very melodic yet still haunting number. Yet another innovative band from the city that brought you Mogwai, Billy Conolly and Rab C. Nesbit.

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