The Cool Flavor of Menthol…

Heavily distorted power-pop from the 90s’ Chicago scene. 15 years ago, I wasn’t aware of how lethal of a combination that was, or would prove to be a decade and a half later. Add to the mix lyrical odes to the recording industry of yesterday, in a sly and poetic manner to help create one of the strongest trios ever to emerge from the Chicago scene: Menthol

Listening now, for what would not be the first time since the mid-90s – but more like the 2nd time this week –I’m aurally witnessing the unique tones, the driving guitars, the simple explosion of sound; although they held the ability to melodically create spacey soundspaces, too. Balthazar, the front man, who emerged from Hum, another Chicago act who also perfected this sound, held the ability to vocally attack each rhythm’s tempo with ease. The flow from the beginning of this LP until the end is uninterrupted.

I never have, nor ever will, but if I was to piece together a top 20 list from yesterday up until today, Menthol’s self-titled record from 1995 wouldn’t be in the second half. Its consistency for well thought out, distortion heavy power pop songs would rank in the top 10. Yes, of all time. No, nostalgia isn’t attached to this one. Chicago’s undeniably strong 90s scene is.

Menthol s/t

MiS is 500 posts strong. The hurdle has been surmounted. Now, let’s talk about that Foals single!


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