Vikings Of Mint

Punk never died, it just went back to school....

Punk never died, it just went back to school. At the back of the class, Jason Anderson and Adam Forkner heatedly debate which early [a]Superchunk[/a] single was the best. Before repairing to the common room to compare lack of short-term memory, they submit a thesis, ‘Vikings Of Mint’, 15 songs of ragged, micro-pop glory.

Such is the realm of Wolf Colonel. These Oregon boys don’t want to save the world – it is, after all, irredeemable, dude – just make time on it bearable. In the spirit of last year’s estimable self-titled debut (seven-inches, eight songs, 45 revolutions), shirking is not an option, ambiguity is outlawed. Nobody with delusions of grandeur chooses to start a record by so blatantly copying, albeit sloppily, the opening chords to H|sker D|‘s ‘Flip Your Wig’. But amazingly, in the little time it takes for ‘A Medium Rootbeer’ to wreak its euphoric mayhem, Wolf Colonel prove themselves worthy of such a homage to the band whose blueprint for marrying melody and discord preceded all others. “Can we rock?! Can we roll?!” they holler atop a surging wave of fuzzily empathetic guitars, to which the response has to be an emphatic, “Yay!”

At 43 seconds in totality, ‘These Aquatic Droids’ is even less equivocal, as concise an assimilation of Guided By Voices and Buffalo Tom as is possible. Backed by a fluid collective of helping hands, the dynamic duo run the gamut of nonsense poetry – ‘Dear Elliot’ appears to be about borrowing a broken lawnmower – and tales of the sheer joy of being Wolf Colonel.

Only when they stray into overtly sensitive territory does the magic dissipate, but with such a compacted aesthetic, the hits win out. Trad and uncomplicated, ‘Vikings Of Mint’ graduates with merits all round.

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