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Mini Mansions | Guy Walks Into A Bar…

The sideman side-project supergroup make themselves at home on their third disc.

WHO ARE THEY? A sideman side-project supergroup featuring Queens of The Stone Age bassist Michael (Mikey Shoes) Shulman, Last Shadow Puppets bassist Zach Dawes and Arctic Monkeys touring keyboardist Tyler Parkford (augmented by QOTSA / Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore).

WHAT IS THIS? The indie-rock outfit’s third studio album in a decade — which isn’t too bad when you consider the fullness of their conflicting individual schedules.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Not surprisingly, a lot of it sounds like their other bands. Shulman supplies QOTSA’s sinister glam, punchy robo-rock and falsetto vampire soul. Dawes and Parkford add some British retro flavours and spaced-out vibes. But as with all artistic endeavours worth their salt, they also form something that is more than the sum of its parts — and often more pop-oriented, electronic and/or psychedelic. Make yourself at home.


HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Without comparing it to their day jobs.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Cocky, swaggering, groovy, decadent, dark, sexy, soulful, driving, glammy, buzzy.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Frankly, the ones that remind you the most of QOTSA — like Should Be Dancing, Forgot Your Name, Living in the Future and I’m in Love. But the narcotized ballad Hey Lover — a duet with Alison Mosshart of Kills and Dead Weather — is also not to be missed.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Shouldn’t they really be called Stone Age Monkey Puppets?’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Whenever you need a segue between their other bands’ releases.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A BAR, WHAT KIND OF BAR WOULD IT BE? Underlit and underground, but still familiar enough to make you feel at home.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Try — but be prepared to buy.