One day, perhaps, Oklahoma psych-pop ensemble Starlight Mints will finally escape the long shadow cast by fellow Okie weird-rockers The Flaming Lips. But that day isn't coming anytime soon. And singer-guitarist Allan Vest's high, quirky voice, his surreal lyrics, the act's interest in orchestral-flavored arrangements and everything-including-the-kitchen-and-bathroom-sink sonic experimentation doesn't help matters. Despite all that, however, the Mints have crafted compelling material since forming in the late '90s. With the addition of Change Remains, the outfit's latest, the Mints boast a body of work full of rich melodies and harmonies and songs that, because of their odd, disparate parts, shouldn't work but do. Like the Lips, Starlight Mints can be awful sweet sometimes, but occasionally there's darkness — or downright creepiness — to their music that helps set them apart. In a live setting, the two acts couldn't be more different: No giant hamster balls, spaceships or dancing Santas for the Mints — just good tunes.
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