Wafer Thin Mints
Wafer Thin Mints
The origins of the Wafer thin Mints go back to the late 1990s in Toronto. Guitarist and songwriter Pat Strain spent the latter part of the ‘90s living in Toronto, observing and working in the music scene there as a sometime roadie for bands The Pursuit of Happiness, The Waltons, Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars and others. Pat was particularly influenced by Moe Berg’s 1997 solo album Summer`s Over. Moe was performing acoustic versions of his new songs as well as reworked versions of TPOH songs and other selections by Burt Bacharach and Hank Williams. Moe’s example provided Pat with a stylistic palette and an approach to songwriting. Now he just needed a band that was versatile enough to put it all together.
In 2001 Pat moved back to Edmonton and was reunited with friends Russ Baker (Steve Coffey & the Lokels), John Newton (Chloe Albert, Bob Kemmis) and Troy Nowaselski (Rachelle Van Zanten). The foursome had a ready-made band on their hands – aided by the fact that they had all played together at various points with Edmonton groups: King Muskafa , Cone of Silence, The Electric Monks , and Leaving Elliot. Their history and chemistry were evident as the new project quickly gelled.
Wafer Thin Mints` first album, The Finest Car They Ever Built in 1983 was released in 2006 and launched the band on to the Canadian music scene, propelled along by the single Hot Chevette . Mixed by Steve Loree of Greyhound Tragedy and Jr. Gone Wild, the album received extensive airplay on CKUA and made it into the station’s top 50 albums for 2006, even after being submitted to the station in November of that year.
2015 saw the release of their second album Trans-Am Fats. Once again the songs found a home on CKUA, CBC and CJSR. The song Broke Monk Mountain – The tale of Leonard Cohen was a particular favorite as it recounted the story of Leonard’s time studying Buddhism at a monastery in California. While he was on his quest for enlightenment, his then manager cleaned out his bank account – providing the inspiration for the lyric:
I took a vow of poverty; I didn’t think she’d take me seriously Hung out to dry for all to see, up on Broke Monk Mountain
Wafer Thin Mints continue to play shows across Alberta to enthusiastic response from audiences at clubs and festivals –their live show is an appealing musical combination of variety, spontaneity, humour, and energy driven by the tight rhythm section, hotrod guitar, and offbeat left field lyrics.