Mynah – Preface I: An Informal Brunch Served as a Preface to a Three Day Conference EP

Preface I: An Informal Brunch Served as a Preface to a Three Day Conference EP

Mynah was formed in 2002 when the paths of these five individuals would fatefully cross at an art school in Rochester, New York. Drummer Steve Formel appears to be the catalyst of the group, as he met guitarist Erik Guldbech while playing improv blues and jazz at parties. He also happened to play in a pop band with bassist Gino Reyes and vocalist Holland Kemp. On top of that, he was also playing in a noise-metal band with key/synth player Peter Klinkon. It was all a matter of getting them all together at the same place at the same time.

Aside from Pete staying in Rochester to finish school, it was all smooth sailing from there as the boys moved to New York City to further their career. Pete was reunited with the band after graduation and since then the band began playing some fairly high-profile shows and started writing their self-released EP, Preface I.

Garnering comparisons to acts such as The Talking Heads, Radiohead, Muse, and other idiosyncatic pop bands, Preface I is a debut EP that shows shades of genius but ultimately lacks memorability. There is a laid-back jazzy feel coursing throughout the EP that holds things together nicely. However, much of the songwriting is simply forgetable aside from some well-placed synths.

Honestly, I think Mynah might be better off as an instrumental band. Klinkon is an amazing pianist who writes some very off-kilter lead lines that are jazzy but also retain a memorable poppy edge. Reyes also has a good feel for how to weave his bass lines in and out of Klinkon’s keys. The drums and guitars aren’t anything too amazing, but they are both very competent from players who have a grasp for smooth, jazzy work. Holland Kemp’s vocals just aren’t as strong as the musicians he is working with. He kind of has an emotional approach similar to At the Drive-In, but it doesn’t work with the music.

Mynah shows enough potential on this EP that I will keep an eye out for future releases. However, the EP itself isn’t wholly impressive and leaves a bit to be desired vocally. The design of the case was handled by the band, and they do a lovely job. If nothing else, they could pursue a career in design.