MINK15 – ‘GONE’ – ALBUM REVIEW
Mink15 is Wales-based singer-songwriter Ash Molloy and producer Andy Cotterill, with additional guitar by Rob Kearns. Its lush sound is reminiscent of such atmospheric heavyweights as Portishead, Massive Attack and Sneaker Pimps. It opens with a reggae intro and first track‘Sickening Love’, the first single from the album; spacious, sparse production and replete with glockenspiel and strings. The highlight however is the lyrics, particularly the chorus couplet ‘Sickening love / sick and in love’.
‘Birdie and Salvo’ heralds the first use of the Rhodes piano, using the instrument’s inbuilt tension to build to a powerful rock chorus. Ash has written powerful lyrics too, dealing with drug addiction.‘24’ cranks it up another notch with beautifully atmospheric horns. This song again shows Ash’s lyrical prowess, comparing bus routes to relationships. There are, I suspect, some Sneaker Pimps and Everything But the Girl influences here....
Now with instrumental track ‘Moon Drone’ it all goes a bit psychedelic: chiming Floyd-esque guitars, rumbling bass and tablas create a complex, rich sound. And next, the album really gets into its stride, with ‘The Thing’, the catchiest song in this collection. The backing is deep and rumbling, suggested rather than stated; the howls and echoes give real weight to the sound; and the jazz drums and minimal acoustic strums add detail to this superb song.
Experimental track ‘Christmas Beetle’ provides variation, and the producer gets a chance to shine: a short track with a glitchy intro, synth washes and vocal fragments. Next up,‘Demolition’ and ‘Moth in My Ear’ feature the finest production work on the album, with lush vocal echoes, pristine synth sounds and powerful beats.
The main set of 10 songs closes with the distorted vocals of (partial) title track ‘Gone – and Back’. But there are yet more surprises to follow: two interesting remixes of Sickening Love close the LP. In a sense they’re bonus tracks, but they add considerably to the depth of the album. Producer Andy can once again do some showing off, first with an excellent dub version mirroring the album intro, then with a stripped-down acoustic mix to finish. The latter showcases just how good the ‘pure’ song is, presented as it is with no production frills.
Mink15 rules!~ Greg Hurst (B Movie Junkies)
"From the darkly atmospheric opening track "Sickening Love", the album peaks and soars to every emotion. Ash Molloy's voice has a slightly retro, soulful vibe to it as she sings songs of both lost and unrequited love as well as other more unusual subject matters!
The stand out tracks on this wonderfully eclectic album are the deliciously quirky "Moth in my Ear" and the closing track an acoustic version of the opener "Sickening Love". This track, when stripped back, showcases Ash's voice perfectly and gives it a completely different feel.
A sensory treat of an album, highly recommended!!" ~NICCY SMITH
"The first track, Sickening Love, is a nice opening with good textured effects, nice crisp beats and earthy bass. Vocals clear and good range. Nothing wrong with this little beauty.
Birdie and Salvo: Again nice reverberation effects giving way to a melancholy opening of intriguing vocals. Sparse but excellent use of guitar within the stereo range. A great track on the album so far. Has hints of the new 90s grove but the svelte use of technological expertise suggests contemporary. Fitting grabbing guitar and vocal fadeout.
Beautiful: Excellently arranged with good use of studio effects and vocals, this is a nice chill out tune.
24: Again very clever intriguing lyrics and deft uses of mixing.
Moon Drone: Trucking guitar riffs here and poignant soundscape, always room on an album for a phat little psychedelic toker like this.
Thing: Rewind your mind. Nice intro. Some thought provoking, spine tingling vocals on this. This could quite easily become a wonderful, undiscovered summer secret. j'adore.
Christmas Beetles: Now I like the opening to this, basic but clever use of reverb samples which offers something unique. Drifts into a floaty sunrise of tripped out vocals and starry eyed strings. Good things come in small packages, you may have just pulled this one off.
Moth in my Ear: I heard an earlier iteration of this track and it showed promise. This particular mix hits the spot. Clever vocals and story telling mixed with instruments pulls this one through.
Gone And Back: This shows off the talents of the writing, studio/guitar collaboration and mixing expertise. Great musical depth and competence. It has nearly everything; including an superb guitar track.
All in all, a good solid debut." ~ Ollie Percivall
" I have to say very impressed. Really like it. Track 11 is amazing. Love her voice. Very Morcheeba esc. Some great little effects and riffs going on. Good work m8"
Mark Lomas - on Facebook
SINGLE REVIEWS AND MISC
"Beautiful, demonic and a bit muddy" Ollie Percivall - Facebook.com
“ good voice! ” vevioletta68 - Jango.com
"Although you share only two songs here I really love them as they simply make me feel better. Take care all you guys!" MSR ask Prodigal - Myspace.com
"likin the violin/cello, my kind a drum beat, and what a voice.!! good little track me thinks," BASSBOYWONDER - twitter
"“ good sound ”" emmeffe - Jango.com
"“ niceee ”" chad_dahc - jango.com
"i like the love in the air with the techno...... :) " greendayzen - Jango.com
"Original :)" magda_g9 - Jango.com