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Sound Check

8/27/2014

Ill WayIll Way

“Something New To Do”

Independent

Ill Way is a local band that, admittedly, I came into this listen knowing nothing about. It’s always a gamble when you’re reviewing a CD completely blind, because Ill Way could have been an experimental noise act that specialized in taking a dump on the mic for 45 minutes. Thankfully, Ill Way is actually a ska-tinged, alt-punk, and a fairly competent one at that. “Something New To Do” features a lot of really catchy guitar hooks, compliments of Ryan Voggesser and frontman Parker Reed, the latter of whom makes sure the party arrives on time by doubling down on the trombone. There’s nothing particularly complicated about Ill Way’s music, but that works in the band’s favor. There’s no reason to wade into curious time signatures or funky key changes when you’ve got a good hook and a pile of catchy lyrics. CV

MintMint

HIV

“Murder”

Brand One Music

Mint, on the other hand, is a well-known commodity, and if you aren’t familiar with what they’re doing, you should stop being silly and fix that right now. The trio of Brandon Johnson, Christian Peters and Brandon Clark have been doing great work in this town for a while now, and their new EP, “Murder,” continues that trend. Making really great use of some nifty studio effects, vocal doubling and their own considerable musical talents, “Murder” is a nice little primer on what the band is about if you haven’t had a chance to hear them. Peters’ drums and Clark on bass are a bedrock for Mint’s sound, but “Murder” really hums because of the work Johnson puts forth. His vocals alone are capable of turning OK songs into something memorable. For my money, “Heart Feels Heavy” is the best track on the EP, but at four tracks (three originals plus an extended version of the title) and 20 minutes, you’re likely to get equal mileage out of all of them.

“Murder” is available now on iTunes. CV

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