[Review] McStine & Minnemann – McStine & Minnemann

McStine & Minnemann is a new band consisting of Randy McStine and Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats). The duo initially met in 2018 while working with other artists, but as they discovered their shared passion for an assortment of Rock, Pop, and Punk artists, they decided to embark on a collaborative project together. On 3 July 2020 they released their self-produced debut album entitled “McStine & Minnemann” containing medium-short duration tracks, offering a massive and well-built sound. The two artists, in addition to being authors of the texts and music, play all the instruments and alternate themselves on vocals with ease and high leveled technique. The opener “Program” starts with heavy electric guitar riffs, a rhythmic session in continuous development with solid bass lines and continuous tempo changes. The high-pitched vocal is best suited to the various stages of the piece, a good introductory piece. “Falling From Grace” is a more rhythmic track, sometimes intricate and constantly changing, demonstrating the duo’s technique. The melodies are positive and characterized by elaborate and powerful riffs, an excellent piece of Prog music, with a high level choral vocal, like the whole track. At the end an intricate and gloomy instrumental moment with experimental veins. “Your Offenses” is more catchy and with more pop ideas, but not less incisive and elaborate, even here the time changes are precise and pleasant. In the second part it turns into a more sophisticated song with excellent electric guitar inserts and the vocal part is the one that remains in the head and that immediately grips. “Catrina” is a very sophisticated song, with an intricate structure, with deep and funky bass lines, the drum is of the highest level constantly changing with dizzying excursions. The choral vocal is best suited to the various phases of the song, which features dizzying accelerations, more symphonic openings and darker and darker strokes, one of the best tracks on the disc. “Top Of The Bucket” features a frantic and accelerated drum, a bass bearing and penetrating guitar riffs, the vocal here is warmer and more powerful. A song different from the previous ones, but very smooth and pleasant, elaborate and intricate where the technique of the two jumps out, both in the compositional and executive phase. “Tear The Walls Down (No Memories)” is a powerful song reminiscent of Rock in the late ’70s, the guitar as well as the rhythm session are massive and heavy. The voice alternates softer moments with other more powerful and pottimo is the duet between piano guitar, which takes the sound to another level. “Fly” is characterized by the effected vocal and dark tones, the guitar riffs are powerful and the hypnotic bass lines. In the second part the intensity increases and the song becomes darker in the melodies with layers of dark and atmospheric keyboards. “Activate” on a solid and decisive Rock enter the Funky veins and the melodious voice of Mcstine does the rest. Piercing bass and elaborate rhythms, with melodic openings reminiscent of the Acid Jazz records of the 90s, with an excellent guitar solo at the end. “The Closer” is the shortest song on the album, an acoustic passage with sweet melodies and voices that soften the tones of an album still pulled. The work ends with “Voyager” which is instead the longest track, very intricate in structure, a winning blend of Metal, choral voices and intricate melodies at times Jazzy, a winning track. These guys have very clear ideas and offer a truly original and personal sound, which revolves around a sophisticated Pop with different influences. The compositional and executive technique is noted in the elaborate constructions of the songs, which despite being short-lived, between tempo changes and ever-changing musical excursions give life to a truly incisive and impactful album. Absolutely recommended to all lovers of Prog music and beyond, ranging on several fronts this album will positively strike a very large audience, leaving good hope for the future productions of the duo.

Tracklist

1. Program
2. Falling From Grace
3. Your Offenses
4. Catrina
5. Top of the Bucket
6. Tear the Walls Down (No Memories)
7. Fly
8. Activate
9. The Closer
10. Voyager

Lineup

Randy McStine / Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, FX 
Marco Minnemann / Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, FX 

McStine & Minnemann|Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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