The legend of Mink Mussel Creek has been limited to minor folklore and loose Google searches if you didn’t live in Perth. Simply enough, 2007 saw MMC founded out of boredom and jam sessions, collecting the likes of Shiny Joe Ryan, Nick Allbrook and Kevin Parker. These names should sound familiar as each of these members used MMC as a precursor to form the now internationally famed POND and Tame Impala. Mink Mussel Manticore’s release has kept fans waiting and due to production issues has been rare.
Now seven years later, the band that practically propelled the Perth psychedelic scene into gear releases the jammiest record I’ve heard in recent years. Where comparisons to POND and Tame Impala are incredibly easy to make, it is a real pleasure to hear how Kevin developed his drumming flow or Nick’s vocal prowess.
Like most of Allbrook’s lyrics through his musical career, they tend not to focus on any one subject matter. “You were high on Panadol / With the Makeout Party Girls,” begins the Makeout Party Girls romper. The lyrics don’t relate to much at all.
This almost Half Glass Full of Wine b-side takes reference to earlier Tame material where each song would have slow coda breakdowns and eventuate to the final build. Doesn’t the Moon Look Good Tonight could also be likened to POND’s Midnight Mass (At the Street Market Payphone) b-side partner with its glitchy, fuzzy, looping outro.
While the similarities to post-MMC bands are easy enough for any fan to pick up on, it is unfair to judge Manticore on those premises. MMC’s debut is a psychic beast of its own that presents loose, jammy psych rock before it received the producer’s finesse. And in some respects, Mink Mussel Manticore finds its own strides in an environment without the magic of a studio or the owl eyes of a producer.