Album Review

Mexicolas - The Minerva SuiteMexicolas - The Minerva Suite

Mexicolas, or one man rock band Jamie Evans, is back with his second album The Minerva Suite. Hailing from Birmingham it is always nice to discover a bit of home-grown talent that doesn’t need Piers Morgan’s approval.

Evans’s album of soulful indie-rock is full of radio friendly nuggets that would fit nicely alongside the drippy Coldplay or The Feeling. Don’t despair quite so soon The Minerva Suite is merely comparable to these in its brand of bold epic pop music, it equally has the same sweeping melodies and lyrical quality we have come to expect from a Dashboard Confessional release. The wail and gritty vocal of a song like ‘Brightest Diamond’ sounds more like Nickleback than most recent Nickleback tracks have managed to accomplish. Mexicolas has the unique ability to mimic those who came before him and yet improve on what they created.

Thirteen songs of soulful pop-rock does though begin to diminish itself to little more than background music, which is a real shame because Evans has a strong voice and is clearly a multi-talented fellow playing and writing all the songs himself. That’s not to say that this album doesn’t have its strong points. When it’s good it’s really good.

Just one of these moments is track 7 ‘Haphazardly’ whose angular guitar work and structure is reminiscent of a Minus the Bear number. One of the longest songs on the album Evans has chance to show off his knowledge of melody and harmony leaving you with the feeling that what you just heard was anthemic in quality. It is from this point on that the album really takes flight as the vocals raise their standard and the guitar riffs slowly become more edgy and distorted. Musically and lyrically this album is nothing other than modern classic rock as Evans repeats the cheesy line “you’re tripping on your halo” which would sound equally at home falling out of the mouth of Vince Neil. Penultimate track ‘Fred Astaire’ though is by far the best number on the record. Coming in with a hauntingly mellow vocal, “black your eyes and let the people stare, be my girl I’ll be your Fred Astaire”, which builds right through the song till an insane muse riff kicks in shocking you into submission and awe. It’s almost like Evans has been waiting for this moment the whole album. It is by any definition of the word a perfect song.

It’s when Mexicolas rises above the singer-songwriter persona created that this albums true potential is revealed; sadly he wavers in that territory for too long. Evans is a talent there is no doubting that he just needs a little help before he drowns in the slew of radio play that chews up and spits out so many decent artists.

This is an album of ups and downs. Mexicolas is skilled and when you hear the piano melody on ‘Room With A View’ you won’t doubt it, but his final words precisely encapsulate the impression this album leaves “your bitter sweetness goes to my head”.


Review by Lauren Mullineaux

 Band Members

Jamie Evans
 Track Listing
1. Lullaby
2. Bright Sparks
3. Take Off
4. Logic
5. Brightest Diamond
6. Closer
7. Haphazardly
8. Brakes
9. Halo
10. Camouflage
11. Sewn
12. Fred Astaire
13. Room With A View
 Band Related Links
Mexicolas Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?