The Whispering City
The city now known as Shottingham has been somewhat quiet in producing anything with entertainment value. It's bad when you have to turn to the Nottingham Outlaws to watch something entertaining here. Maybe the cricket team's name should have given you a clue, but Nottingham has been given so much bad press.
Enter Mint Ive, an up and coming band with a burgeoning loyal fan base. Currently trialling a new drummer, Mint Ive don't know the meaning of slowing down never mind stopping. Although pretty much a demo, 'The Whispering City' serves well as a document of their progress over the past eighteen months, and everything about it from the eye-catching cover to the production of all ten songs screams professionalism in large bold type.
It has to be said that if these guys aren't influenced by the likes of The Beatles, Stone Roses or even Oasis then bread doesn't always fall butter side down. Singer/songwriter Will Lillejord shows how to use an acoustic guitar in songs without making it sound dull a la Nutini, Gray et al. The Ive prove that if you add instruments, beats and sounds around an acoustic guitar then it can work. That alone warrants a medal.
Kicking off with 'Fifty-two Charges', as lively a start to an album as you'll hear all year, and a perfect introduction at that. As heavy hitting drumbeats collide with spiralling guitar riffs, it isn't hard to see why indie legend Mani is already a fan The band could be best described as the transitional period from Stone Roses to Oasis, as the likes of 'Rendezvous' and 'Bloodshot Eyes' ably demonstrate. Mint Ive also give us all an insight into how far they have come lyrically with 'These Four Walls', which brims with an intensity that twists and turns, ups and downs in many directions. 'Brother' meanwhile shows a more emotional side to Mint Ive that strips away all the lad rock veneer, Lillejord's vocal dripping with feeling.
The current line-up of Mint Ive have been together honing their sound since 2005, and their development has obviously stood them in good stead as they look to move onto the next stage. 'The Whispering City' captures a band that is moving forward at a rate of knots, and if things continue at a similar pace, Mint Ive could well be the next big thing to come out of Nottingham since Brian Clough.