After listening to Mind Spiders’ catalog a few times, I’ve come to a pretty succinct way to describe them.
“This is the kind of band I want Cloud Nothings to be.”
Now, I’m not totally sure if that makes sense, but I feel it’s at least close to comprehensible.
Cloud Nothings started out as a single dude making music on a computer in his parents’ house and has since blossomed into a full-fledged “garage rock” band. But they seem to operate by just throwing a bunch of stuff together and hoping it sticks. Occasionally, they hit gold, but more often it’s just average at best.
Mind Spiders, on the other hand, seem to set out with a plan of pairing halfway intelligible lyrics with catchy hooks in an effort to create 2-3-minute garage rock gems.
On their sophomore album, 2012’s Meltdown, the Denton, Texas, group manages to pull off this feat more often than not. There is some filler here, but most of the songs will keep listeners from hitting the Skip button.
Among the standouts are “You Are Dead”, “Beat”, “On the Radio”, “More Than You” and “Wait For Us”.
The group had similar beginnings to Cloud Nothings, with Mark Ryan composing the band’s 2011 self-titled first album mostly by himself during a hiatus from a pair of other bands. Once he started receiving requests to play live, he enlisted the help of several other talented musicians, including another guitarist, a bassist, an organist and a pair of drummers who play at the same time.
The debut album was more sporadic in its influences and led to a sloppier sound. But the group has tightened up things on the latest release. While some of the lo-fi qualities have been cleaned up, this music still clearly belongs in someone’s garage.