The Mint Chicks: It’s them, not me

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 | musiX, pdX

I was going to go with the headline “Chicks with dicks,” but thought that would be sophomoric and tasteless … and I don’t need people thinking I am either of those. Continuing with my fascination with male bands with female names (The Girls, Women), I give you The Mint Chicks.

I was actually in New Zealand around the same time The Mint Chicks made the big move to Portland … I thought they might be avoiding me. The Auckland trio came to the States in January despite their hugeness back home, where they’ve won every award possible for their 2006 Flying Nun release Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! (re-released in the U.S. in September).

Brothers Kody and Ruban Nielson (vocals, keys; guitar respectively) and drummer Paul Roper are putting the finishing touches on their next record Screens, and announced this week that it should be out in February 2009. A few of the new songs including “Life Will Get Better Some Day” and “2010″ are available on the band’s MySpace.

I’ve seen the band use “troublegum” to describe their sound. It couldn’t be more accurate. The Mint Chicks take rock from the last four decades—including ’60s bubble gum, ’70s punk and new wave—and lets it loose with the nervous energy of an abused Chihuahua. When I listen in to them in the car sometimes I bob along with a goofy grin on my face, sometimes I just want to ram the bad driver in front of me … maybe it’s just me.

The Mint Chicks will play a handful of dates leading up to the release of Screens, including this Thursday at Portland’s Rotture. Check ‘em out. You might catch them hanging from the lighting rigs, or attacking the stage with a chainsaw (OK, it’s not just me). Maybe I should title this “Minters make splinters.” Perhaps not.

Mint Chicks dates (all Portland):

11/20 at Rotture with Bret Vogel
12/12 at Someday Lounge with Blue Horns
12/19 at Crystal Ballroom with the Presidents of the United States of America
1/3 at the Doug Fir with Lookbook and The Prids

“Life Will Get Better Some Day”The Mint Chicks (Screens, 2009)

Video for “Walking Off a Cliff Again” off of Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!

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