Music We Love: Mink Coats Release "Cashed Hits" EP

  Photo by Autumn Taylor-Anttila

Photo by Autumn Taylor-Anttila

Mink Coats stepped onto the Denton scene just a few years ago, but in that short period of time they’ve become DFW darlings. At their inception they were known for their psychedelic, surf-tinged riffs and groovy melodies. On this, the day of their latest EP release, those sounds are still there—and there are some fresh sounds too.

Bassist Spencer Jones has some insight into the differences faithful listeners might catch. “The songs got a bit heavier, more driven. That maybe has to do with dropping the keys and bringing another guitar into the situation,” he says, referring to the band’s two new members, drummer Trent Reeves and guitarist Taylor Copeland. Reeves’ background is steeped in punk and hardcore, which Jones says has helped to bring the heavy; Copeland’s use of pedals and tone variation account for the distinctly technical and elongated instrumental breaks. (“He’s a tech wizard,” Jones laughs.) The tracks also owe much polish, detail, and some keyboard work to Brack Cantrell, the founder and head engineer at Denton’s very own Dojo Baby Records, where the whole thing was recorded. “Brack is a huge part of this. It would be totally different without him,” Reeves says.

Cashed Hits is just four tracks long, but packs a witty, often frustrated punch. “Apathy” came out of a rough patch in lead singer and guitarist Jared Starcher’s personal life that left him struggling to create and feeling, yes, a little apathetic, he says. Ironically, it’s hard to call up another song that discusses that emotion so dynamically. Apathetic feeling is personified in this track, and Starcher serenades it: “The roots run deep / Into the ground under my feet / I can’t sleep / When you’re here with me.” “Greasy Dan,” the EP’s other character-driven track, was inspired while Starcher—a professional driver—was on the clock on I-35. “I saw people’s habits on the road, which are kind of similar to people’s habits behind a computer screen. Everyone’s anonymous, you get away with whatever you want,” Starcher says. Greasy Dan is the sum total of all those instances, a tobacco-stained, savage guy who writes nasty notes on bathroom stalls.

When taken all together, Cashed Hits has an almost apocalyptic edge to it. It’s the perfect blend of Starcher’s biting social commentary and the gritty garage feel of the songs. Each track is simultaneously song-of-the week material and a flippant fuck-you—like a dare. “Life’s a drag, so take one / Swallow your Shangri-La,” Starcher taunts in “Chemical Lobotomy.” This record is not passive listening. It leaves its audience with a couple of choices: get blackout drunk and rowdy, or sit still, nod your head, and think on it. For a first listen, Copeland suggests the latter. “There’s a richness to the songs that you don’t get the first time,” he says.

Mink Coats play Oaktopia on September 23rd at Andy’s. Until then, you can catch them this Friday at The Doublewide in Dallas, or at J&J’s on Sunday the 14th for the basement's final show. They’re taking time off to regroup and write, so expect to hear even more new stuff from them soon. “Be on the lookout for some new shit, ‘cuz it’s coming,” Jones says with a grin. We can’t wait.

Album art by Billie Buck
Header image created by Shaina Sheaff