by Lee Adcock
Beware. A supernatural force emanates below. Weaker minds may be sucked into the screen.
Behold. The collective intelligence that is MIND BRAINS teach their occult insights to the shrinking masses. Wrapped in the cloths of ritual, their identities remain unknown – yet locals from the village Athens (GA) whisper of sorcery from guilds like The Olivia Tremor Control, Marshallow Coast, and of Montreal.
Take heed. The black magicks of MIND BRAINS can delay time itself. Armed with synthesizers and drum machines of their own creation, the rogue occultists chant night and day to their electric idols.
…okay, enough of that. Mind Brains rock, dudes. And no, I haven’t been brainwashed. This debut LP of theirs transcends the ordinary psych pop stylings that Elephant Six alumni fall into, weaving in kitsch 80s-esque spookiness with Gregorian refrains and krautrock-like grooves and non-grooves. Songs waver between the sublime and the absurd, striking that glorious limbo where you recall all those fantasy worlds you mapped out on the playground and what utter bliss they brought you. “
Even here, with the chug-a-chugga tattoo and the Numan-like blunt buzz riffs of ‘Body Humor‘, you can already hear hints of the alien, of blocky toy robots marching in rows that don’t run on batteries. Elsewhere, from Silver Apple-esque plastic spaceships rains down the motorik stomp of ‘Whistle Tips‘. It’s on the double-whammy of ‘The Era of Late Heavy Bombardment‘ and ‘Sea Shore Minor‘, though, that you cruise into alien territory. The first sails through drifting asteroids and squalling space junk; the latter sees us staring out from the wreckage of our cardboard rocketship, peering through no-mans-land dry ice fog to the wide-open moonscape.
Closer ‘Bouncy Clock’, with its clattering pistons, represents just what’s so striking about Mind Brains – the converging of spiritual union and surreal disarray. Voices join in one refrain, but seething synths and harrowing strings and barreling drums and static run amock until they dissemble. And it’s that strange combination that renders Mind Brains as neither laughably bleak nor unbearably bright. Is it sorcery, or just make-believe? Who knows. But I want in on the next ritual dance.
Mind Brains’s/t LP is out January 20th on Orange Twin Records.