Mini Mansions are definitively beyond a local LA band, but you can’t fault us Angelenos for our attempts at keeping them for ourselves. Think of these guys as an inside out super-band, whose members are already working with household names like Queens of the Stone Age, Kimbra, Brian Wilson, Arctic Monkeys and, well you get it, heavy hitters. Far be it for me to define Mini Mansions by the other artists that their members work with but let’s just call it a testament to what these dudes bring to the table.
The Troubadour was sold out weeks before the show, and packed to capacity by the time the door opened. This gig wasn’t billed as a record release party for their sophomore album The Great Pretenders due out in March but felt like that anyway. It’s possible to satiate a raucous crowd playing a set comprised almost entirely of unreleased material but it’s damn difficult, and yet Mini Mansions belted soon-to-be singles out with the confidence of a band playing a greatest hits tour. For those like myself who got familiar with Mini Mansions after their debut LP in 2010 the music has progressed at a breakneck speed. They played a few of the new songs they worked on with Brian Wilson, including their 1st new single “Any Emotions”, and they all just glowed with a pop sensibility / tongue-in-cheek edge that sounded as if they were graced with Midas’s touch. There’s something distinct about the new materials ability to build and release tension while never getting hostile.
Art mirrors life in the sense that there’s a fine line between confidence and hubris and most people would be well served playing it cautious to avoid crossing the threshold. That is, of course, unless you’re Mini Mansions and you were sent by the lord on high with the sole purpose of using tender melodies to rock the ever loving shit out of this mortal world; then you’re free to carry yourself however you want.
P.S. Alex Turner sang a bit with them.