Mind Spiders’ debut album is all energy, all the time, with most of the 12 tracks being played at breakneck speed. The band’s mastermind Mark Ryan wrote and recorded most of the songs all by himself, and it shows in the album’s tossed-off, low-fi feel. The album feels like a ramshackle, garage-rock take on power-pop. This translates into the bulk of the songs having catchy hooks that only reveal themselves upon multiple listens, because it takes a while to ferret out the hooks from beneath the layers of fuzzy guitars and pounding drums.
This makes Mind Spiders a quick, but frustrating, listen. Once you do find the hooks, you wish they were more to the front of the mix. “Don’t Let Her Go” has a great organ part and solid chorus that are both buried under the guitars and drums. “Slippin’ and Slidin’” is a strong rockabilly-style power ballad that never escapes from the heaps of distorted guitar that Ryan piles onto the track. The noise levels finally work in Ryan’s favor near the end of the album on the unsettling, spacey, minor key rocker “Your Soul”, which adds to the ‘50s B-movie feel of the track. While Ryan obviously has some songwriting skill, it’s mostly hidden here under the low-fi aesthetic he chose for this album.
- "No Romance" MP3
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article