Mind Spiders – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

From the instant you press play on your stereo, to the moment in which its final notes resound, Mind Spiders refuse to stop. In that miniscule pregnant pause before the guttural guitar resounds through your speakers, take a breather, because you’ll need all your strength to keep up with their punk pace.

“Go!” is the album opener and does exactly what its title exclaims. It’s an almost two minute scramble of garage rock and gang vocals that pack a hell of a punch into a tiny slice of time. Before you know it, the first track is gone and the second is about to pass you by. On “Don’t Let Her Go,” it is easy to see a similar sound to that of the late and great Jay Reatard. The muddy vocals and frantic jamming guitar along with the shortness of the number all are reminiscent of Jay’s work on Watch Me Fall, namely “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me.”

However, this album is not simply a copy cat of other’s work, but rather, a culmination of tastes from a variety of genres; a little bit of 60’s pop here, some lo-fi there, and a dash of some all out punk. For instance, on “Read Your Mind,” the group starts out slow, with slightly clearer vocals and soft waves of “ooohs,” that occupy the first minute and twenty or so seconds. It’s almost as if the band wants you to relax a bit after the first three songs before they jump right back into their ferocity. The vocals become muddier as the song morphs from slow-mover into punk once more.

The next super stand out track is “No Romance,” which is sadly the shortest song on the album. It continues the quick pace, but not without grabbing your attention through a sea of compact jams. Following this is a lo-fied nod to Little Richard on “Slippin’ and Slidin.’” On this track, the overall distorted sound contributes to enticing quality; the more I listen to this song, the more I like it.

What this album has working for it in addition to its stellar beats is that Mind Spiders know their limits. While only four out of twelve of the songs last longer than three minutes apiece, it works for such a fast paced album. If every song were to last for slightly longer than it does, this album could have derailed from its hasty tracks. Instead, it was a toe tapper from start to finish.

So you as you look at the stereo in disbelief that track twelve is becoming track once again, do nothing. Allow this album to permeate the surrounding air like a gust of cold air into a stuffy room, waking you up like an icy shower —lather, rinse, repeat Mind Spiders.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/No_Romance.mp3]

Download: Mind Spiders – No Romance [MP3]

FTC: Mitch Ryder

Take note hipsters. If you want some real music to dance to, you might want to check out Mitch Ryder. As frontman of The Detroit Wheels, he was a key player in the emergence of rock & roll in the Motor City. He had a loud wailing voice that reminded many of Little Richard. His showmanship was rivaled only by the late great James Brown. Legacy? Bruce Springsteen, the MC5 and Bob Seger all were heavily influenced by Ryder and some say he was a key bridge between the Motown sound and modern rock and roll. Not many artists can make me break out and dance like Mitch does, so I’ll leave you with one of my favorite all-time dance songs, Break Out.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/06-Break-out.mp3]

FT5: Gay Dudes That Rock

0306top5coverHomosexuality may not always be the easiest subject matter to broach, but it’s one that people often turn away from when discussing homosexuality in modern rock n’ roll. However, some of the greatest inspirations for modern music all have their gentle touch. So in honor of these brave souls, who bared it all, we give you our Top 5 Gay Dudes That Rock.

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