Mind Spiders // Inhumanistic
Recommended Track: They Lie
Let’s imagine that Alice’s rabbit hole was in fact a dark and seedy alley in the city littered with soiled newspapers and abandoned debris, with puddles reflecting hardly any light. I’d say that the opening song, “Prelude,” of Mind Spiders’ latest release Inhumanistic is an appropriate soundtrack to my uneasy stroll through to whatever is at the other end of it.
The cool part is that the song starts off campy that way, like a B-movie 80’s slasher flick. The synth pulls you in and releases you to that other side which is somewhat playful and poppy but aggressive at the right moments at the right times. And they are careful with the synth, using it to accent changes in the music rather than to compensate for something lacking. Timing is too important when you decide to bring something like that into punk rock. It can either help carry the song through and touch up the rhythm like in “You Are Mine” or be used to emphasize a particular mood or atmosphere at particular points in the song like in “Make Make Make Make,” which is great when a band is paying careful attention.
For the most part the songs comes to you like a fast car, passengers decked to the neck in leather and denim, speeding through that same city, running red lights, with a dedication to lo-fi and an edginess that borders reckless endangerment. Even then, though, Mind Spiders demonstrate a range that is noteworthy, putting the car on cruise control as in “City Stuff” or the melodic, almost sort of T. Rex-ish “I Want You.”
There’s nothing to dislike about it. Inhumanistic is a good album through and through. There are moments that are reminiscent of Jay Reatard, but I feel it’s almost impossible to not catch that influence or sound if you are doing this kind of music in this kind of scene. The same goes for the obvious: Devo. Well, yeah. Synth and punk rock, you’re going to run into that, but that’s not bad. If anything, those a very strong points of comparison.
So you say, “You mean they sound like Jay Reatard and Devo had a baby?”
To which I might reply, “Well, sure, for the sake of the cliché.” Yeah, I could go for that.