In an era when more bands seem to be labeling their music under a genre that doesn’t really exist to differentiate themselves from other bands, I’m not surprised by anything any more. Case in point, the band Mind Vice who labels themselves as sludgefunk. The band sounds a bit like The Red Hot Chili Peppers mixed with Rage Against The Machine minus the vocal work of Zachary De La Rocha.
If you assume they need a technically proficient bassist who knows how to slap then your assumption is correct. His name is Ian "Liquid Fingers" Sides for Christ’s sakes. Ian "Liquid Fingers" Sides is a pretty funktastic bassist however Walter O'Toole (vocals), Mike Knapp (guitar) and Miles Hubbard (drums) should not be overlooked.
On their latest release Consumer Nation, which consists of two songs the band struts their own abilities pretty hard with guitar solos, hard-hitting drum beat and of course some juicy bass lines. The band is tight, the songs are well written but I couldn’t help but think these are the types of songs that sound better live no matter how good the recording.
The opening track “Consumer Nation” starts with a pulsating drone from the guitar but once the verse hits it all about the bass that ends up backing the vocals. The guitar was clean and aesthetically pleasing but it was hard to take my ears off the bass. O’Toole sings about capitalism and consumerism and even though he sings with an exuberant, upbeat inflection his lyrics are quite the opposite.
He sings lines like, “Supply demands vampires / We suck 'em dry and get higher” and “Conflicted in my desires I know the world ain't right / But I have a cannibal's appetite oh yeah.” It is a solid song overall and I wasn’t expecting such an in depth theme when the music itself seems loose and fun.
The second track “The Profit” while still funky feels a bit more hardcore. I referred to Rage Against The Machine earlier and the guitar work here is what reminded me of it. The song shifts through impressive time changes as the band displays seamless transitions. Lyrically, the song revolves around a similar theme as the first song but from a different angle. He sings about the endless desire for companies to make a profit and cynical means that are sometimes used to get there. He sings, “I demand supply no end / For my Profit I prey on death.”
Mind Vice has some talent and it is obvious they put a lot of time and effort in these songs. Consumer Nation is an appetizer and I hope this band delivers a full length in the not too distant future.
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