Cincinnati-based indie rockers Mixtapes recently embarked on a journey across the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest in support of the band’s latest release, A Short Collection of Short Songs, a power-packed 6-track EP on the Animal Style Records label.
The band describes their formation as “a long, strange and uninteresting turn of events” on their label’s Web site. The group draws inspiration from the 90s, a decade that was all about casual style and simplistic recording techniques with artists like Beck, Elliott Smith and Pavement, who put a lower premium on recording quality and a greater emphasis on individuality. Growing up with this kind of music blasting from the stereo system, Mixtapes took this ideology and took off with it, blending 90s power pop with that characteristically Midwestern gritty punk and added some unquestionably Indie undertones.
The band – Maura, Ryan, Boone and Michael – rocketed out of the ‘Nati with Maps just over a year ago, and the 18-minute, 10-track EP caused listeners to take notice. Mixtapes quickly followed up with the release of two four-track EPs, which served as small teasers of material to come.
Now, Mixtapes return with A Short Collection of Short Songs, the band’s fourth release that takes the form of a six-song album, available as both a digital copy and a 7 inch vinyl in fun colors, like mellow yellow-orange, lime green, and electric blue. Those who purchase a 7” are privy to a bonus track, as the four-some covers The Hold Steady‘s “Your Little Hoodrat Friend.”
A Short Collection Of Short Songs is undoubtedly Mixtapes‘ strongest material to date and kicks off with “Birthday Party Summer Camp (Helloooo Meeggannnn),” a soulful number that compounds clear and eloquent vocals with blood-pumping bass in the backdrop. Then the band takes a page from the old school 90s playbook with “The Real Hotel California” and “I’m Like,” two songs that serve to awaken Blink-182 from the grave (again), as the tracks are flooded with a bouncy sound, flavored with attitude and pure, gritty punk.
On a few songs the band takes a step back, slows the pace and tones down the reverb. “Soups Whatever” and “Whit’s End” are spectacular pieces that showcase the group’s true vocal talent with dueling duets blended with sweet harmonies. The final track “Anna Maria” is an exquisite work of songwriting craftsmanship. Whereas “Soups Whatever” is lyrically whimsical with lines such as, “I got arrested once for being in that church parking lot; I guess they forgot that I’m harmless,” “Anna Maria” is heart-wrenching with painfully truthful lyrics like, “It’s better to lose yourself than someone else, cause I’m just not prepared and I’m scared.” Overall, A Short Collection of Short Songs is nothing short of infectious.
In addition this latest release, the band launched Castle Songs, a two-track effort that can be downloaded for free from digital label Death To False Hope Records.
More info at The Official Mixtape Bandcamp
MAR 06 – Cincinnati, OH @ Fogartys w/ I Call fives, Rust Belt Lights, Kid Liberty
MAR 12 – Altoona, PA @ Archway w/ Daytrader
MAR 13 – Columbus, OH @ Seven Venue w/ Daytrader
MAR 14 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Dojo w/ Daytrader
MAR 15 – St Louis, MO @ Rue13 w/ Banner Pilot, Humanoids, ShinSplints
MAR 21 – Covington, KY @ Mad Hatter w/ Light Years, All Out Best
MAR 22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ TBA w/ Light Years
MAR 23 – Baltimore, MD @ Charm City Art Space w/ Light Years
MAR 24 – Lancaster, PA @ Plum Shack w/ Light Years
MAR 25 – Wakefield, MA @ The United Unitarian Church w/ Light Years, Late Nite Wars
MAR 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire w/ Laura Stevenson and the Cans
MAR 27 – Albany, NY @ Valentines w/ Light Years, I Was A Hero, Galleries
MAR 28 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
MAR 30 – Newport, KY @ The Southgate House w/ The Challenged, Greenland Is Melting, Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues
APR 10 – Covington, KY @ Mad Hatter w/ The Wonder Years, Fireworks, Such Gold, Make Do and Mend, Living with Lions
APR 15-17 – Richmond, VA @ Stay Sweet Fest / The Camel
APR 18 – Durham, NC @ Motorco Garage
MAY 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry w/ Dear Landlord, Banner Pilot, The Manix
MAY 07 – Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen w/ Dear Landlord
MAY 08 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class w/ Dear Landlord
MAY 09 – Newport, KY @ The Southgate House w/ Dear Landlord
MAY 10 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks w/ Dear Landlord
MAY 14 – Toronto @ TBA
MAY 15 – St. Catherine’s @ The Mansion House w/ Beat Noire
MAY 16 – Peterborough @ TBA
MAY 17 – Ottawa @ TBA
MAY 18 – Quebec, QC @ Bar-Coop l’Agitée w/ Dear Landlord
MAY 19 – Rimouski @ Petit Pavillion Agricole w/ Dear Landlord, Maladroit, Inside Riot
MAY 20-22 – Montreal, Canada @ Pouzza Fest
MAY 28 – Indianapolis, IN @ The dojo w/ Dear Landlord, New Creases
[youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKEOkVavK24[/youtube]
Contributed by Heather McAdams