by Hugo Reyes
To say a band broke up before their time has become a cliche for many music devotees. What was once music for people on the fringes became a cash cow. Major labels were living extremely well in the emo boom of the early aughts. Any band that mildly sounded like it had popular potential were swept up within mere months of formation.
Being signed did not always equate with mainstream success. Countless artists broke up before their major label debut. Mineral, a band hailing from Austin, Texas is one of countless examples. Right as Interscope Records was preparing to release EndSernading, the band called it quits.
It was never thought that there would be more music from Mineral. With EndSerenading, the story of Mineral was over. Now, 20 years later, fans can breathe in 11 more minutes of Mineral. One Day When We Are Young naturally feels like the natural succession to EndSerending. There is a gentleness to each song’s construction on the second full length from Mineral. The minutes of catharsis don’t feel as overt as in the Power of Falling. It is more nuanced. Similarly, the two newest songs, “Aurora” and “Your Body is a World” are slow and methodical, moving ever so slightly through the song.
There is a familiarity I feel in listening to “Aurora”. Like when you see an old friend for the first time in years. Even though there is an apparent passage of time, not much has really changed. At the music’s core, I still have that feeling of listening to my favorite records for the first time. For a few delicate moments, I am transported back to hearing “Gloria” for the first time, almost on the verge of crying in the bitter snow of Chicago’s lakefront.
The connection with Mineral’s music isn’t casual. There is an undying devotion to the lyrics. You lived and breathed every moment in the Power of Failing. It was the soundtrack of the awkward transition into adulthood that typifies your late teens. Every different emotional crisis could now be categorized by whatever Mineral song is deemed appropriate.
Any reunion paired with new material creates some tension. It feels especially prescient with Mineral, due to the emotions their music conjures. People have spent years if not decades breathing in the music. Nostalgia can be a very fragile concept. How you first fell in love with a band is how you want to view them for all of eternity. One Day When We Are Young doesn’t do away with whatever legacy the two full lengths created. The songs feel like a natural extension of what EndSerenading offered.