If you’re after a Mexican, psychedelic, dream pop duo then guess what? You’re in luck; Mint Field are just that! On what turned out to be one of the coldest nights Manchester has scene in a long, long time; BagThing braved it through the snowy city centre to Eagle Inn, thankfully one of the coziest live music venues in the city to catch Mint Field play their fresh, unique take on psychedelic rock following the release of their debut album ‘Pasar de las Luces’; that means ‘Passing of Lights’ to us English speaking folk.
Lead singer and guitarist Estrella Sanchez and childhood friend and drummer Amor Amezcua make up Mint Field. They’re a stylish duo, who have honed together a clean, layered, and escapist album of breezily impactful psych rock tunes. Hearing them live brings out all those layers on stage; the set was a lavish, continuous play of their mainly instrumental tracks. Whenever Estrella would sing on a track the lyrics didn’t really add anything to the performance, the group’s strength is in the rollercoaster of highs and lows of their psychedelic sound. Leave behind the fact all their songs have Spanish titles, it doesn’t matter because the music is so heavily textured that the softly spoken vocals are used better as an instrument rather than for lyrical purposes.
There’d be dreamy elements of ambience throughout, where Estrella’s guitar solos would echo and elongate over itself creating a heavily surfaced sequence that sounded dreamily psych. Just like listening to an old Jefferson Airplane record from the early 1970s. This is what Mint Field do best; effortlessly merging echo-laden guitars with breathy indecipherable vocals. Most of the time I was mesmerized by Amor’s drumming skills; she simply stole the show by keeping the momentum running smoothly, controlling each track with her powerful pacing of the bands performance. Whether it was on higher tempo tracks or slower ones like the grungy vibes of ‘Cambinos Del Pasar’, Amor didn’t just play the drums, she led the performance with her playing.
Because the gig flowed so well from one track to the next, there wasn’t much interaction with the crowd at all; except for after the final song had been performed their unofficial male bassist (no idea what his name was, or if he’s just part of the band while on tour) told the crowd “we’ve travelled a really long time to get here to Manchester, so if any of you have any weed to help us relax after the show please give us some”. Their highest streaming track on Spotify ‘Ojos En El Carro’ provided the peak and end of what ended up being a soothingly intense 50-minute epic set of the best psychedelic rock Mexico has to offer.
Words by Tom Frodsham.