After a smoking hot 7″ last year from Dirtnap, MIND SPIDERS are back once again with a brand new and unheard set of songs for the new year. This is surely one of the most anticipated releases this far into the new year, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share it with you.
Before listening to any of this new album, my goal was to try and keep the songs from the 7″ completely out of mind. Sure, that’s not exactly an easy task, but it’s definitely manageable. After listening and going through a couple of times, there’s really not too much reminiscing from the 7″ if you think about it. Everything included is all new material (except the first track “Go!” which was left out from the last Marked Men album), with most songs coming through with a completely unique direction and a whole new sound – the crunchy “Slippin’ and Slidin'” is one great example of that. Sure, the songs still sound like the Mind Spiders (if they didn’t you’d probably be upset!), but only this time with a fresh new approach and of course all that pent up energy that nobody else seems articulate as well as this Denton, TX mastermind.
Although you should start with a clean slate when listening, it’s still difficult at times not to think back to that original 7″ with songs like “Going Away Tonight” and “One Step Ahead”. But if they spent the time trying to recreate what we head from the 7″, this album would probably suck – and for just that reason, we think you’re going to fall for this stuff pretty quickly. Most of these songs have a different approach and even include some electronic percussion (?), and the way it broadened the sound and made Mind Spiders sound more like a household-name quality band is surely stunning. You still get a little bit of everything you loved, like the lo-fi bedroom-pop weirdness and the high-pitched vocal howling, but this time it’s on a whole new level.
Opening track “Go!” is a hell of a way to start things off. This is a pretty good indication right here that it’s going to be hard to keep up with this record – almost like a challenge that everybody should be willing to endure. Right off the bat this song already encapsulates a little bit of everything from the album – break neck speeds, face-destroying guitars, and without a doubt an absurd amount of ferocious energy that you definitely don’t get from all bands. For some listeners it might even come on a little too strong at first, but stick around after that abrupt ending and you’ll have time to breathe with track two, “Don’t Let Her Go”. In a way, this is similar to the first track because it still puts you on your ass. It seems like these two were put in the beginning on purpose, almost like they wanted to prep you for everything else that’s still to come, because it’s only going to get that much more intense. After another abrupt ending comes “Mind Spiders Theme”, which feels like the first real track from the album.
This one almost has a darker tone that you probably didn’t expect at first, and it can definitely catch you off guard and work it’s way under your skin. There’s also that wild guitar noise that sounds like it’s being strangled to death as the fierce energy is shoved right in your face from beginning to start until another abrupt ending. The next track “Read Your Mind” might make your eyes widen with delight, because you’ll realize it’s not a two minute brain-buster aiming to get done as quickly as it started. But don’t worry, nothing’s wrong, the mad energy is still there. The twanging guitars and a howling Mark Ryan force you to sway back and forth as the song picks up some slight momentum. Jangly tambourine drumming and concentrated guitar chords cut like the sharpest of knives in this joyous moment.
“Going Away Tonight” immediately threw a wrench into my first listen. Forgetting about the songs from the 7″ was going pretty well until this one came along. Listen for yourself and you should know exactly what I’m talking about. Following up is “No Romance”, which could easily qualify as the fastest and most propulsive song from the record. This one gets it’s point across beautifully before another abrupt ending cancels everything out. Ryan screeches “Two words I say the most”, obviously referring to “no romance” while fiery guitars and a driving rhythm section don’t even give this song a second chance to break off into anything else – straight to the point with absolutely no bullshit. Just how we like it.
“No. 3” comes next, and if you liked that last track, then we suggest you stick around. Another one with no rules or boundaries, the intro chords in this one could immediately crack a smile on your face. The ecstatic and playful spirit ignites a flame and promptly strikes a soft spot. You will play this song again. Blazingly wild guitar solos and more familiar Mark Ryan chanting only further seal the deal that this is a prime example of what the Mind Spiders are capable of. After another abrupt ending, this might make you want to share this particular band with the whole world. Settle down now, people. We’d do that if we could too.
Skipping ahead to “Slippin’ and Slidin'”, this one is highly unique. Deliciously concentrated and crunchy guitars steadily press on in a medium tempo, almost sounding like it’s all on the verge of total destruction for the duration of the entire song. Static-like and quivering guitar leads throughout only make everything that much more badass, almost giving the song a twangin’ country vibe as it creeps along. Please don’t miss this one below.
“Your Soul” is next, and begins with some odd effects before welcoming some unusual electronic drumming (?). This one is slightly straddling the line going over into the electronic side of the fence, but certainly not in any drastic way. Also like the “Mind Spiders Theme”, this kind of has a darker tone. The computer-esque beeping sounds give the song a mysterious twitch as harsh guitar noise builds up in the second half of the track. This is where that odd, lo-fi “bedroom pop” noise weirdness comes into play, and in a pretty big way to. It kind of engulfs the song entirely as it dies out, leaving you in an ambiguous state. Second to last is “Neurotic Gold”, which switches up back to the usual instrumentation, but with a little bit of the electronics still lingering around.
Finishing up this record is the appropriately titled “Close the Door”. After a quick fade-in, the swirling guitars and woozy effects are already present, grasping you right at the doorstep and taking you on one last Mind Spiders journey before it’s all over. This one definitely has a mysterious vibe as the guitars swirl above your head as they plan their next move, never revealing too much information.
All in all you’ll probably find that this tricky record is pretty different as it varies from track to track, but still keeps things in order as they maintain a uniquely focused sound. Check out the songs below and snag the LP while you still can, because the first 200 on blue vinyl have already sold out!
Mind Spiders Theme –
Read Your Mind –
No. 3 –
Slippin’ and Slidin’ –
Close the Door –
My Rating: 8.8/10
Genre/ Tags: Garage Rock, Pop, Alternative, Punk
Mind Spiders: Tracklist:
2.) Don’t Let Her Go
3.) Mind Spiders Theme
4.) Read Your Mind
5.) Going Away Tonight
6.) No Romance
7.) No. 3
8.) One Step Ahead
9.) Slippin’ and Slidin’
10.) Your Soul
11.) Neurotic Gold
12.) Close the Door