Released 1991 on cassette. No label.
The Poll Riders Win Again is the latest collection of songs from Walt Mink. This second tape is a fine follow up to Listen Little Man of 1990. Walt Mink continues to produce the head-snapping grooves that fuel their original sound and they lay down some new tracks created during the past year.
A few of the songs on the new tape, such as “Sugartop” and “Pink Moon” have been played live for quite awhile but did not appear on Listen Little Man. Now you can finally discover the titles and lyrics to all of those songs you have heard, and liked, but never comprehended. Many of the songs on The Poll Riders… differ from previous songs in speed and intensity. Songs such as “Turn of the Religious” and “Smoothing the Ride”, the latter even featuring an acoustic guitar, are quite sweet in comparison to Walt Mink standbys such as “All-Nite Grocery” and “Zero Day”. These new songs represent a different sound for Walt Mink and I don’t know quite what to make of it. They are good food for the tape deck for certain, but the more relaxed pace of these songs is not reflected in live shows. “New Life” is a song such as this. The song on tape and the song played live are different creatures. The live creature rocks.
Some aspects of Walt Mink’s sound only seem to appear on tapes, these things occurring with the vocals and guitar, vocals effects barely crept into Listen Little Man but are prevalent in The Poll Riders… Sometimes these things are cool but at others the effects hide some vocals that could really stand well on their own. Also, with the vocals so much in front the guitar isn’t really given the space that it deserves. However, one tasty side effect of this whole deal is that the bass and drums become much more distinguished. At the frenetic pace of live shows these fine fine things can be forgotten at times by listeners/dancers.
Don’t let me fool you into thinking that this new tape is all mush. That would be lyin’. “Disappear”, “Sugartop”, and “Quiet Time” are songs featuring the high-powered riffs and hooks that are the foundation of Walt Mink. As far as new songs, “Quiet Time” is one of the best, definitely a highlight of the album. It does not let up. Each instrument is played with equal frenzy, producing a driving groove.
But stop, don’t be content to sit at home and listen to this tape. I think this tape really shows that as ana entity Walt Mink is a band that must be seen live to be really appreciated. The Poll Riders Win Again can be a tape deck staple in between shows, but accept no substitutes for Walt Mink in concert. – Joe Bob Ford, MacWeekly (April 5, 1991)
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