Demo2DeRo: Steak House Mints

December 16, 2008


Though one might question the wisdom of naming your band after that bowl of stale candy at the counter of an old-fashioned restaurant (best avoided for fear of other patrons who may not be so scrupulous in washing their hands after using the rest room), the Steak House Mints get absolutely everything else right on their recently released D.I.Y. debut album, "Out of the Sky." Their sound is an intricate and beautiful style of orchestral pop influenced by the Zombies, Nick Drake and "Pet Sounds"-era Beach Boys as well as more global avatars such as Os Mutantes and Astrud Gilberto.

Originating as a recording project by singer and songwriter Billy Dave Sherman, the live group has coalesced to include drummer Steve Gillis, keyboardist and sitar player Vijay Tellis, guitarist Scott Tipping and bassist Shawn Sommer, while the album is further fleshed out with elaborate horn and string arrangements that never sound overly fussy or overpower the simple but effective songs. If the band can pull off live what it's accomplished in the studio (its next local gig is Jan. 22 at Martyrs'), it's poised to join the likes of the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Canasta at the top of this city's ork-pop heap.