Mingmen-Cross The Line
Switzerland and rock and roll? You know it! Those two go together like peanut butter and chocolate and beer and pretzels! The latest group to find it's way to my ears is the interestingly named Mingmen. Sway (which I'd assume is her christian name LOL!) fronts this group as well as playing guitar. Her vocals are a real highlight on this EP as she sings with passion and power that is tightly packed next to raw integrity. The other three members are no slouches either. Guitarist JGeorge helps Sway out with his own set of skills and together they lay down some nice, heavy rock riffs that are given plenty of time to develop. That's thanks to the length of these tracks. The EP's opener, "Beneath the Surface", clocks in at 6:19 while this releases shortest cut ends up being "Doesn't Matter" due to a run-time of 3:55! So yeah, this is more akin to real rock then what passes for "rock" on the radio these days! Moving on, I am well aware of the fact that I've said this next part on more then a few occasions, but it rings just as true today as the first time I typed it up. And that is "Every good band needs a good rhythm section". Simple enough I know and yet there's been countless times when bands, especially new ones, can't quite grasp that fact. Thankfully that isn't a problem here as bassist Etienne and drummer Dem add all the right extra parts that are needed to make "Cross The Line" a smooth experience. This isn't the group's first go round though so maybe they have had time to really gel. It sounds like they have. Prior to this (newer) release we've got 2006's "Undercontrol" and 2009's "Back To The Ground". Both of those were full-length albums while "Cross The Line" is an EP. So, we've got a 4-track EP from this 4-piece band that draws from such influences as Skunk Anansie, Alter Bridge, Evanescence, Shinedown and Lacuna Coil. Or at least that's coming from their ReverbNation page. The group's Facebook page also suggests Metallica and Tool as bands that Mingmen "likes", but when this rock hits the fan there's a fair share of originality going on then all those "influences" might suggest. More or less the group falls under the blanket of heavy rock/hard rock, but seeing as there is some metal going on here it's all good. At times I did think up a more rock oriented Sister Sin, but again Mingmen does a good job of formulating their own take on all things loud and heavy. Seeing as "Cross The Line" left me smiling I might just have to check out the other two full-length albums. In the meantime you can get this EP on some digital sites and you can find out more about Mingmen at their Facebook page linked below.