Mini-Mansions: Mini-Mansions

RIYL: The Beatles 1967-1969, Donovan, Fountains of Wayne

Mini-Mansions is the side-project of Michael Shuman, the latest bass player in the revolving door line-up that makes up Queens of the Stone Age. But don’t pick up his side-project group’s self-titled debut expecting stoner metal from the school of Josh Homme. Instead, expect some Sgt. Pepper/White Album-era Beatles tunes – and nothing else.

Mini-Mansions have a very psychedelic and ethereal sound, about as far away from the metal Shuman is known for as you can get. The only reminder of his main group’s genre is the slight creepy and menacing sound that occasionally sneaks its way in, thanks to the oddly threatening yet still appealing vocals of Shuman.

Its hard to say that much else about Mini Mansions. They sound so much like the Beatles that if you tried to pass off some of the tracks, such as the brilliantly-titled “Crime of the Season,” as long-lost Beatles tunes, some people would probably believe you. They’re not trying to show they’re influenced by the Beatles, nor are they even trying to do a pastiche of the fab four – these guys are straight-up mimicking the Beatles. They get credit for being ballsy, that’s for sure. But when I literally mistook a portion of album standout “Kiddie Hypnogogia” for the chorus of “She’s So Heavy,” I realized that perhaps they’re taking the whole thing a little bit too far. Does it sound good? Sure. It sounds like the Beatles after all, but there’s not much to it, especially since every track not only sounds just like the Beatles, but a very specific era of the Beatles. It wouldn’t have hurt for them to throw some Revolver or Rubber Soul in there for variety’s sake. (Ipecac Recordings 2010)

Mini-Mansions MySpace Page