Label: Minty Fresh
About a year ago I was milling through the used CD bins on St. Marks and I stumbled upon a compilation benefiting a Chicago performance art group called Doorika. Most of the bands on the comp were from Chicago (Tortoise, Sea and Cake, etc.) but of the twenty or so songs, only one really seemed like anything other than just a throwaway track for a good cause. The song was called “Chocolates” and was recorded by an relatively unknown band called themselves The Aluminum Group. Six months later the band recorded their debut masterpiece, “Plano” on the sugar-pop, hometown label Minty Fresh.
Listening to The Aluminum Group is like walking directly back into what youºd like to remember your adolescence as. I’m thinking specifically of that time and place where stacks of Prefab Sprout, Aztec Camera, Roxy Music and “Body & Soul” era Joe Jackson records were strewn across your floor and you were falling in love for the first time, making mix tapes for the crush of the moment. The Aluminum Group is the brainchild of brothers John and Frank Navin. The twelve sweet and sophisticated songs on “Plano” come across as the perfect fusion of 80ºs alterna-pop (complete with synth beats and jangly guitar strums) and the sophisticated slightly more serious emotional and lyrical stylings and orchestral rock of Eric Matthews.