Monday, February 7, 2011

Mind Spiders 'The Mind Spiders'

Can you remember the last time hanging out in a bar a record came on that made you put down your drink and go 'What IS that?!'. For this blogger, it was Marked Men and this is how I got hip to them. Picking up a copy of 'Ghosts' faster than it took to bug the DJ that night, this album has gone everywhere with me since. After this release Jeff Burke who shares guitar duties with Mark Ryan left Denton, Texas for Japan and Ryan with some spare time on his hands. Luckily for us it wasn't long before Ryan started cranking out new material under latest project Mind Spiders also on Dirtnap (Bad Sports, Goodnight Loving, White Wires).

Listening to the two singles already available from Mind Spiders, these pop punk songs much like his previous band are little pieces of adrenaline. However, the singles do hint at exploring new sounds especially on B side 'Time Sucker' on the self titled 7", so don't be surprised to discover Ryan doesn't play it safe on this debut full length.

The album ducks and dives between party stompers and slower darker numbers with Ryan drawing from an amalgam of musical influences. Ryan could have been an Adverts fan in his formative years as 'The Mind Spiders' sounds influenced by them in the way that 'Blood Visions' unintentionally did. Opening with head turner 'Go!' most of the first side is a collection of brilliant high energy pop punk numbers slowing down a beat only for 'Read Your Mind'. 'Mind Spiders Theme' on Side A hints at the transformation the songs take on the later part of the album. A curious interpretation of Little Richard's 'Slippin and Sliddin'' on Side B has a lofty, sluggish sound you might associate with Spacemen 3. From here Ryan explores post punk in a style not dissimilar to Blank Dogs especially on track 'Your Soul'. These darker synthesized numbers bring more of the late great Jimmy Lee Lindsay projects to mind like Angry Angels and Lost Sounds, may be you'll hear it too? I don't know... The aptly titled track 'Close the Door' ends the album cooling off with Greg Rutherford's (Bad Sports/High Tension Wires) pulsating rhythms and Ryan's eerily sanguine tinged guitar and voice. Is it too early to have a favourite 2011 release? Nah, Mind Spiders are the band to beat.

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