By packaging themes of late adolescence in pop-punk of early teenage years, local act Mint Green are more effective than most at capturing the tensions and frustrations inherent in early adulthood.

Ronnica, lead vocalist of Mint Green, voices a thought that many Bostonians have every spring on “Wildflowers” when she marvels, “we can actually go out in this weather / But I still don’t know.” It’s appropriate that her band’s debut EP is called Growth, as Mint Green makes music that feels like the first signs of spring—teeming with life, but still vulnerable and fresh. As sunshine and warm weather slowly arrive in Boston, there’s no better time to listen to the local quartet.

It’s hard to talk about Mint Green without mentioning Paramore’s Hayley Williams. As with her peers Soccer Mommy and Julien Baker, William’s lyrical and musical influence on the next generation of songwriters cannot be overstated. You can hear it everywhere in Growth— in drummer Daniel Huang’s crashes and fills, guitarist Frank Price’s economical riffs, and most of all in Ronnica’s pitch-perfect delivery. While you might not hear “me” pronounced like “may” as in Williams’ signature style, the same earnestness and defiance found in William’s music still shines through fiercely in her vocals, punctuated occasionally by a sweet, delicate falsetto. The songs are well put together, but not overly tightly wound. Summery indie rock vibes, particularly demonstrated in the rhythm guitar and Brandon Geeslin’s bass, permeate and relax the pop-punk framework in which Mint Green operates. It’s an arresting and uncommon sound, and luckily the band devotes their EP to exploring that sound rather than introducing a grab bag of styles.  

Most of the songs on Growth are under three minutes long and held together by strong hooks and power chords. However, the lyrical content is unusually complex and self-aware for a genre most often, if unfairly, associated with adolescence and catharsis. “Curtains” begins in angst (“don’t let the sun come in/That way I will be totally isolated”), but by the chorus, Ronnica’s perspective has widened, and the song emerges as a meditation on aging (“Things are changing/Everyone we know is moving on”) and connection (“The only hope we have is each other/The only faith we have is in one another”). There’s a fresh note of urgency on “Timestamped” — here, Ronnica is an astute observer, but not a passive one. This song has the EP’s strongest chorus and lyric: “We have to make the most of our time here/Even if we’re mad at reality.” 

By packaging themes of late adolescence in a genre targeted towards young teenagers, Mint Green are more effective than most at capturing the tensions and frustrations inherent in early adulthood, whether it be leaving home permanently on “Callie” or frustrations with online communication on “Timestamped.” Growth is defiant like a budding leaf in an April snowstorm, tackles anxieties with appropriately youthful vigor and joy, and copes with adversity by fearlessly embracing risk. The very first chorus we hear on the EP in “Pinky Swear” clearly lays out Mint Green’s mission statement:

“Life’s about taking chances
Extending out our own roots and branches
Just promise me when I leave
That you wont move on too fast
I’m still catching up with the past.” 

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