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Balthazar de Ley, Joel Spencer
Colin Koteles


Looking for the latest Menthol shows and info? You want


Danger: Rock Science!

Menthol's 2nd album was re-recorded and came out, 4 or so years later than it should have if Capitol Records would have worked out. As promised years ago, it is 80's down to the photos in the booklet.
Two songs from the Capital Records version of the album were released on epitonic. That's all that the world will see of that.
The songs are produced by Brad Wood (Chicago producer extraordinaire), Malcolm Burn, John Hiler, and Menthol, depending on the song. Also John Hiler and Bathazar have added their keyboard playing to some of the songs.

Here's how Baltie described the album:

"The new songs are less heavy on the guitar and alot of them employ keyboards played by myself and John Hiler. People who've heard the new songs, both live and recorded, say they have have an early 80's New Wave influence that was much less pronounced than on the last record. The Cars and Gary Numan have come up more than once as comparisons. When I first started playing music (bass guitar) in junior high, I was really into stuff like that along with Devo, Blondie, and the Psychedelic Furs, so it was only a matter of time before those early influences came to the surface."

The two songs from Danger: Rock Science!
Danger: Rock Science! (fast) (slow)       John Hughes 2000 (fast) (slow)'s such a special kind of feeling to be tossing to and fro repeating code, repeating code.
---The last lines of the last song, Codes and Ciphers, on Menthol.

There's one in my past. She had the longest line of cocaine I'd ever seen. Died graceful...
---The opening lines of the first song, Aint No Limit, on Gold Record LP.

Menthol's Next Appearance in Town

"in Town", for the purposes of this site, means in Champaign or Urbana, Illinois, U.S.A., or where ever I happen to me.

Menthol tends to play at the Blind Pig in Champaign (although that place has recently (late spring 1998) been taken over by new owners, who want to turn it into a policeman and fireman bar. What a loss), at The Empty Bottle and Lounge Ax in Chicago, and at The Bottom of the Hill in San Franciso (am I showing my geographical biases here?), so all these are good places to check for their next show. You can also check the Center Stage show listing and Andy's Chicago show listing. Both of these cater to the Chicago scene. Pollstar's listing can also help, although they don't always have everything. And lastly the Champaign Area Shows list is the local equivalent to Andy's Chicago list, and usually has all the details you'd ever want (when the guy who does it is in town, that is).

Some of Menthol's past shows are written up on another page.

Information About the Band

Menthol is a fast and solid three man band. Balthazar De Ley sings and plays guitar, Joel Spencer plays the bass and sings background, and Colin Koteles plays the drums (and sometimes other things).

Menthol started out in Champaign-Urbana (Illinois) under the name Mother, and recorded one full length album and a 45 on Mud Records, a local label. Then they relocated to Chicago, signed with Capitol Records, renamed themselves Menthol and put out an album of the same name.

Before founding Mother Baltie played bass for Hum, and before that he founded and briefly played guitar in Honcho Overload, and a band I've never heard of, Bad Flannel.

In August of '96 Mark Baldwin (ex Lovecup guitarist, an above-average Champaign-Urbana band) joined Menthol, but his collaboration only lasted a few months.

Presently Menthol is finished recording their second album (as Menthol, their third album if you count Gold Record LP), and it is due to appear in late spring, 1998.

Menthol has asked me to include their new email address on this page. It is