I hate spiders. I hate those creepy crawly disgusting things and I want to crush every single one of them out of existence.
Now, if you think that orientation turned me off to Mind Spiders’ new album, Meltdown, you fail to realize how seriously I take my professional responsibilities. I would never let my personal feelings interfere with my objectivity in appraising music.
Especially when the music kicks ass!
Meltdown is an ass-kicker from the get-go. The first five songs in particular are take-the-top-down-grab-a-beer-pull-out-a-pack-of-smokes-and-hit-the-highway-baby songs that will get you speeding in seconds. “Beat” is a killer single, a bit reminiscent of Blink at their best, but with a touch of Ramones to give it some cheeky grit. “More Than You” is so damned hot you may need to pull over to the roadside for a quickie. And if the Bobby Fuller rhythm guitar and relentless beat of “Play You Out” doesn’t make you want to scream in ecstasy, you’re either dead or you’re Rick Santorum.
After that opening rush, Mark brings in the arachnids in with back-to-back creepy spider songs. I reminded myself of my professional ethics and damned if I didn’t love “Fall in Line” with its perfect crunch guitar reminiscent of the garage sound the Yardbirds mastered way back when.
“Upside Down” is more spiders, but still a pretty catchy tune. After that I kinda checked out until the album-ending title track. “Meltdown” is an instrumental piece to which I will proudly assign a new genre: Moroccan Post-Punk at the Casbah. I’m not sure why it works and why it fits with what I’ve told you about the album so far, but somehow it’s the perfect ending to an intense piece of work.
The first Mind Spiders effort was Mark Ryan and a bunch of electronic boxes. Now Mind Spiders is a 6-piece band (with two drummers, no less). The band makes Ryan’s vocals and songwriting talent shine much stronger than they did on the first Mind Spiders album; the sound is crisper and cleaner without going anywhere near the dreaded line of overproduction. I’d love to see this band live.
I may never get over arachnophobia, but Meltdown will be blasting through my headphones for a while, spiders be damned.