Supermint's Pop Rocks

(Insurgence Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)

By Tony Bonyata

Hailing from the Midwest, the land of the power-pop band, comes Supermint, a rock quartet that is carrying the torch passed onto them from area bands like Cheap Trick, Off Broadway, Enuff Z'Nuff and The Shoes.
Although their style of pop-rock on their debut self-titled album is definitely nothing new, Supermint nonetheless manages to add a cool, hard coating to a sweet collection of songs that sit on a fence somewhere between alternative-rock (whatever that is anymore) and unadulterated bubblegum-pop.
With a cocksure rhythm section, snarling guitars, lush harmonies and crisp vocals, bandmembers Kerry Ridout (vocals, guitar and keys), Danny Weymouth (guitars), Steve Mitchell (bass) and Randi Scott (drums) have delivered a strong debut filled with indelible, well-written compositions with hooks galore. Ridout, in particular, compliments the mix with a strong voice that is reminiscent of John Lennon, Robin Zander and Radiohead's Thom Yorke.
From the catchy "What's Going On?", "Perfect Of Red", with Ridout's haunting vocals hovering over a stomping rhythm, to the bump-and-grind of "Sad" Supermint manages to push all the right buttons. Similar to a mouthful of candy "Pop Rocks", the number "I Need Everything" bursts into sweet explosions everytime the chorus kicks in, while "Ordinary Mary" turns out to be a near-perfect workout of Beatle-esque pop with the welcome muscle of Cheap Trick .
Like many bands in their genre they also deliver a couple of obligatory power-ballads. While "All That I Can Do" tends to plod, the swelling "Shouldn't It Feel Good", with longing vocals and velvety chorus, has all the earmarks of a bona-fide MTV hit.
Sure its all been said before, but when it sounds as minty-fresh as this who cares.

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