Los Angeles band Mini Mansions have just shared “Forgot Your Name (Kevin Parker Alt Mix)” which went live following an Annie Mac/BBC Radio 1 first play. The song, which was given the remix treatment by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, comes from Mini Mansions latest album Guy Walks Into A Bar… which came out in July via Fiction Records.
Mini Mansions are the type of gang whose charm lies in their individual idiosyncrasies. A trio of partners-in-crime, best friends and brothers in all but blood, Michael Shuman, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford’s unique personalities are reflected in their third forthcoming album Guy Walks Into A Bar… The album was recorded at Barefoot Studios in Los Angeles in 2018. While all three bandmates are occupied with other gigs (notably Dawes plays in The Last Shadow Puppets, Parkford in Arctic Monkeys and Shuman plays bass in Queens Of The Stone Age, Mini Mansions is their priority. And, for this album, Shuman relinquished his role as drummer for the first time. Drumming come courtesy of his QotSA bandmate Jon Theodore.
Guy Walks Into A Bar… is a record that examines the kind of hip-swaying rock’n’roll you’d find on a dive bar jukebox, it sounds happily disaffected by trend, time or place, like the titular joke itself. There are a hundred different kickers to that joke, but this time around the joke’s on them. A guy walks into a bar only to face reality. The album has been a labour of love individually and collectively. In terms of the former, the lyrics on the record penned by singer/guitarist Shuman are the most hard-hitting, self-reflective he’s ever shared, and all informed by a whirlwind relationship that’s since dissipated. His ex-fiancee came into his life after one such night out, and he wrote most of the songs here contained in real time while on the road. As they reveal each stage from beginning to end, the songs change in mood and even specific setting as the relationship itself deteriorated.
Co-produced by Shuman and long time collaborator/mixer Cian Riordan, there are some additional familiar voices dotted in with a duet with The Kills’ front woman Alison Mosshart on “Hey Lover” and backing vocals from Z Berg (former singer in The Like) on “Forgot Your Name” and the disco banger, “Living In The Future”, which sounds like Devo by way of ELO.
The album’s narrative progresses from reckless antics to the serious trappings of starting to care for a person you’ve connected with, falling in love, then swiftly and dramatically falling out of it. There’s a push-pull between the nocturnal whimsy of being freewheelin’ dudes, and a fear of adulthood as the threesome become fully grown men. And, because Mini Mansions are always a good time, the result is both their most heartfelt and their sleekest, most direct and downright poppiest effort to date.