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Mineral hark back to the golden age of emo

Eric Pulsifer

There are always at least a couple reunited bands representing the glory days of real* emo and its harder, “post”-this-or-that-labeled ilk on the Fun Fun Fun Fest roster. (See past FFF acts: Quicksand, Braid, The Promise Ring, Rival Schools.) But 2014 may be the year with the biggest bunch yet, with performances by Knapsack, The Blood Brothers, Glassjaw, The Jazz June and, of course, Austin’s golden boys of emo past Mineral.

*That’s to say: mostly ’90s and early ’00s stuff, before the label “emo” became used as a four-letter word (associated in the mind of most with the eyeliner-wearing faux-angst of Hot Topic mall culture) brandished about like the same would-be cool-shattering sword as the term “hipster” is today.

Mineral took to the stage Friday afternoon, diving into their 1997 debut LP’s opener, “Five, Eight and Ten.” Having myself probably not listened to a Mineral album or much else from Sunny Day Real Estate times since before the existence of YouTube, it took a song or two for the nostalgic sound to not register as something a little foreign — moody rock with heavy quiet-loud dynamics and solo-free extended guitar bridges. Lyrically and structurally, I just don’t find much like this in my current rotation. But by the time they hit “February” a few songs in, things started to click and the trip down memory lane rolled on smoothly.

The crowd was respectable in size considering Mineral’s time slot and cult status (and the hold up outside the gates), but was packed with hardcore fans — many now with kids sporting colorful noise-cancelling headphone — mouthing along the lyrics between restrained headbangs.