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Cover Art Walt Mink
El Producto
[Atlantic]
Rating: 10.0

I have stumbled, quite absentmindedly, upon one of the best albums I've ever heard. Walt Mink's El Producto takes some growing on you, but grow it does, and in the largest way ever.

The album's opener, "Stood Up," fades in with the unmatched skill of John Kimbrough's fingers picking away at those old steel strings, and then shoves its seven inches of pop square up your ass. "Overgrown" steps around the corner with its unbelievable catchiness and intricate guitar riffs, and Orestes Morfin's intense drumbeatings. Who knew that when it was written (and rejected) for that hip, Gen-X slacker film, "P.C.U.," it would be such an irresistible chunk of beautiful noise? "Love in the Dakota" is the record's beautiful ballad, a sweetly- strummed storytelling of the plot to Roman Polanski's classic film, "Rosemary's Baby." Guitar, strings, and John Kimbrough's boyish voice blend together in what sounds like a serious case of good music.

Minneapolis has spawned more than its share of great music, but Walt Mink is the best band I've heard leave the city for the big time in over five years. We're trying to get in good with local politicians right now in hopes to pass a law that makes not owning a copy of El Producto a misdemeanor. Um, yeah.

-Ryan Schreiber






10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible