Now just because until these reissues were announced I had never heard of a Mineral album being described as a 'classic', it does not necessarily mean it has never happened. What is true to say is that you can hear the influence of Mineral in the sound of a smattering of bands as diverse as Hell Is For Heroes, Jimmy Eat World and even Million Dead. Having seen their contemporaries At The Drive-In do relatively well on the reunion circuit, Mineral have got the old band back together and are having one more go-round at this rock and roll lark, and are releasing a best of compilation as well as these two reissues on Xtra Mile records.
The first reissue is 1994's debut album 'The Power of Falling'. This album opens up with a delicate, chiming bit of guitar picking that signals the beginning of the slow building opener that is 'Five Eight and Ten'. This song builds and builds to a ginormous chorus and the sound in general is like a lo-fi Taking Back Sunday. Next up is the thrilling guitar work out of 'Gloria' which teeters on the edge of collapse throughout.
These are the highlights of 'The Power of Falling' and, although there is greatness on show throughout the album, Mineral seem for the most part content to plod along at their own pace. It's much less Rock 'n' Roll than it is Clatter 'n' Wallow. You get the discordant emo warble of 'Dolorosa', the difficult and angular 'July' and the slow melancholia of 'Silver'. If anything, 'The Power of Falling' was a promising debut showcasing a lot of potential but it never really hit its stride.
This is also a problem on the second reissue, 1998's 'EndSerenading', which comes across with hindsight as the sound of a band falling apart, which they did before the album's release. As far as difficult second albums go, 'EndSerenading' is pretty much the very definition. Opening with an even slower and sometimes somewhat pained build up, 'EndSerenading' seems much more serene and considered but, without the bursts of energy like that of 'July' and 'Gloria' from 'The Power of Falling', the album is one dimensional and easily forgettable. At worst, Mineral deliver a good long bit of wailing with no real hooks to back it up.
Perhaps the most important thing about these reissues is that it could place Mineral in their rightful place as originators and pioneers of a genre that was later developed and repackaged as emo, but their influence can be heard in the music of so many bands from the last decade and a half such as Jimmy Eat World, Hell is for Heroes and Hundred Reasons. These albums are imperfect and scrappy, but to a minority to whom the fairly scant bonus material would be like gold dust, these albums could be incredibly important.
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