As far as side-projects go, Mini Mansions has grown from a small, offbeat idea to become one of the America's most loved cult exports. Featuring live members of both Queens Of The Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys, the trio have built a strong and devout fanbase thanks to their previous woozy and riff-filled albums 'Mini Mansions' and 'The Great Pretenders'. But in an almost unprecedented turnaround from those largely so-so releases, the band have unveiled a string of explosive new singles in previewing their third album 'Guy Walks Into A Bar...' as they look to evolve from humble side-piece into a fully recognised outfit in their own right.
Taking cues from their more familiar outfits, the three-piece have managed to meld influences from a range of other bands that include the absurd and sleazy intentions of Eagles Of Death Metal, making this their least serious but most fun collection to date. The idea of this record being taken less seriously should be clear from the outset given that the album's title is literally the beginning of a joke, and this has led the group down an unfamiliar path than we were expecting. But despite its problems in being able to create a succinct and well-paced release, there is still plenty to find enjoyable on here.
The record's lead single 'Bad Things (That Make You Feel Good)' as well as the Alison Mosshart collaboration 'Hey Lover' remain the strongest highlights on a full-length that still doesn't feel quite at home just yet. While it is clear that Mini Mansions are looking to step out of their formative shadow, there are still some growing pains that make this collection less fluid than we were hoping for.