By Jocelyn Codner
Brooklyn-based MiniBoone headed into the studio last year and, in two days, produced an EP of six tracks called Big Changes. For their first studio recording as a group, the guys chose a chunk of their favorite tunes to include. Nothing compares to the random and wild energy MiniBoone brings to the stage during their live performances, but the rushed recording sessions (two days, six tracks… think about it) helped to retain that frenzied feel they do so well in person.
Drawing from a multitude of inspirations, their style is a successful conglomeration of techniques that artists like the Beach Boys, Talking Heads, the Supremes and Thin Lizzy utilized years ago. Members Craig Barnes (Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals), James Keary (Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals), Doug Schrashun (Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals), Sam Rich (Bass) and Taylor Gabriels (Drums) blend seamlessly to create a full rich body of sound as opposed to distinct voices for each element of the band.
While this makes it difficult to talk about the instruments and/or members separately, it’s a small thing to give up when the overall presentation and quality of MiniBoone is so incredibly solid and unified. The band has a very realized vision and their shared understanding shows in the quality of their sound.
Because of MiniBoone’s vast range of style, Big Changes can be slotted as a pop rock EP. Tracks like “Funny Money” and “Devil in Your Eyes” are easy to sing along to and engage in, while “Cool Kids Cut Out of the Heart Itself” inspires dance moves of the most embarrassing sort. You really can’t ask for more fun.
What Big Changes doesn’t deliver is softer sentiments. There are no “slow jams” to speak of throughout its 20 minute running time. But who are we kidding? This is a band that plays hard and loud no matter what the circumstances.
This is not to say MiniBoone doesn’t touch on important topics. “Rosalina Must Dance Alone” is an infectiously catchy track about the discovery of love.
“When I was 16, I wouldn’t believe in it. No expression of truth just a chemical reaction. Now that I’m 22, I’ve found love, it’s love.”
Big Changes is a delightful taste of not only what is to come from this up-and-coming inventive group, but it’s also a tantalizing preview of what the group is like live. With the music industry shifting more and more to live shows as its focus, this goal is becoming increasingly important for artists to achieve in their recorded music. Congratulations, MiniBoone, you’ve done it!