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Walt Mink - Listen, Little Man! & The Poll Riders Win Again! (1990/91)

Walt Mink - Listen, Little Man! & The Poll Riders Win Again! (1990/91)

Pop New Wave Dance
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Album Info

In the early '90s Minnesota'sВ  were adopted by a lot of ear-to-the-ground, indie pop geeks, though the band wereВ hardly ones to be hemmed into three simple chords andВ bright choruses.В  My personal familiarity with the band extends only to their 1996В El Producto platter, an admirableВ disk butВ a colossal major label debut flop.В  Before Producto came in 1992, and Bareback Ride a year thereafter, both issued on one of the choicest indie imprints of the day, Caroline Records.В  But even prior to those albums a few early adopters of Walt Mink were enlightened enough to procure two nascent cassette releases, Listen, Little Man in 1990, and The Poll Riders Win Again!В  Last year I purchased what appeared to be a band sanctioned CD-R reissue of the those two cassette demos...at a thrift store for a mere $1.00.В  I shit you not.

For those ofВ you that happen to fly the Walt Mink flag, you'll notice that a bevy of the songs enshrined on this disk also appeared on Miss Happiness, albeit in are re-corded incarnations.В  Even though Listen... and Poll Riders were unleashed within a year of each other, the two albums chart someВ measurable musical development.В  Starting with the first of those two titles, the lovingly lo-fi Listen, Little Man!В is chockablock with classic rock homage, and sometimes embarrassingly wanky, fretboard squallsВ thatВ reveal the boys have been adeptly schooled by Hendrix, and a then burgeoning Billy Coragan.В В Pure riffola doesn't come much chunkier than it does here, and if anything else, Listen... isВ air-guitar cotton candy wrapped on a drum stick.

Reportedly recorded in a living room, The Poll Riders Win Again! is a trifleВ more subdued and significantly more melodic, lending a more apt canvas for the deftly crafted "Twinkle and Shine," and the buzzing "Everything Worthwhile."В  An unconventionally electrified reading of Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" is surprisingly right on the money.В  It along with "Twinkle and Shine" would later be recut for Miss Happiness.В  Walt Mink were on the cusp of something greatly encouraging here, and luckily they would soonВ break to a modest national audience.

Listen, Little Man!
01. Fragile
02. All-Nite Grocery
03. Love You Better
04. Hummous Overload
05. Chowder Town
06. Factory
07. Zero Day
08. Croton-Harmon
09. Swifty
10. Up + Out

The Poll Riders Win Again!
11. Everything Worthwhile
12. Miss Happiness
13. New Life
14. Pink Moon
15. Disappear
16. Pop Song
17. Quiet Time
18. Smoothing the Ride
19. Twinkle & Shine
20. Erasable You
21. 9 O'Clock World
22. Turn of the Religious
23. Sugartop

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The album code is : ODI170708

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