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THE MEXICOLAS The Minerva Suite (2011)

The Mexicolas

The Mexicolas acclaimed 2008 debut album X, found the band as a three piece rock outfit and with tracks placed on the hugely successful EA games Burnout 5 and UEFA Euro 2008, as well as advertising and film soundtrack placements. The future looked bright.

But since that time the Birmingham based band have gone their separate ways, and instead of recruiting replacements the mainman - multi instrumentalist, vocalist and song writer Jamie Evans - has decided on a DIY approach. That included teaching himself drums (although Steve Godfrey is brought in to sit behind the kit on all but one album track), and The Minerva Suite is named after the abandoned Birmingham pub that doubled as both practice rooms and recording studio.

With Evan's suitably raspy rock voice (somewhere between the Gallagher brothers and Kelly Jones), and his penchant for writing radio friendly melodic rock, The Minerva Suite should have a wide appeal. If anything, it rocks out less than the band's debut, instead focusing on the strength of Evan's songwriting and singing. But the fact that it is now being re-released (it was originally available in June 2010) suggests that it's not made the same impact of the band's debut.

Which is strange, because The Minerva Suite ticks all the boxes. And certainly, you could imagine it being well received on the other side of the pond where they tend to like their rock served with a more commercial edge. Recommended for those with a liking for the Manics.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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