Since the late '90s, Oklahoma's the Starlight Mints has suffered through endless comparisons to legendary psych-pop connoisseurs the Flaming Lips. The similarities are impossible to ignore — both groups hail from the same Midwestern blip on the map and both share a penchant for melodies, lush harmonies and theatrical, pupil-dilating studio productions. Starlight Mints' recent Barsuk release, Change Remains, bears a strong resemblance to the hard candy with which the band shares a name. It's packed with red-and-white swirling psychedelic pop that is sometimes sweet (like the airy Beatles-esque flow of "Paralyzed") and often refreshing (the spy-movie instrumental "Coffins 'R' Us"). Unfortunately, like the bite-sized candy, Remains is occasionally unsatisfying; the questionably reggae "Gazeretti" is equal part bad acid trip and highly effective anti-drug campaign.
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