Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Dirtnap Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Punk-Pop
Denton, Texas, punk mainstay Mark Ryan (Marked Men, High Tension Wires) didn't intend to take Mind Spiders out of the studio. He recorded the self-titled debut-- a collection of lo-fi garage, glam, punk, darkwave, and rock'n'roll-- largely by himself out of boredom during the Marked Men's hiatus. When people showed interest, he found it strange. Then, when he started getting requests to play some Mind Spiders festival sets, he did what Cloud Nothings and Wavves did before him: put together a band that would later accompany him in the studio.
Meltdown is a smokescreen of a title. While Mind Spiders might have you believe they’re on the verge of a nuclear-sized implosion, their music teeters without ever spilling over. There’s no real catharsis, as is so often the point in punk music, but the constant rush of BPMs is its own reward. They hit a sweet spot that’s hard to find nowadays: endless replayability.The band’s hometown of Denton might exist in the rural reaches of North Texas, but Mind Spiders’ punk pedigree doesn’t lend itself to small-town anger and frustration.
Everyone is using strobe lights at their shows. Seriously. From Van Halen to The Flaming Lips, just about every concert venue posts little warnings at their entrances about the effects of strobes and its potential damage to particular human brains. Sensory overload and what not. That is the very ….
The initial progression of most bands is pretty simple -- musicians get together, decide on an approach, start playing some songs, and then make a record. But Mark Ryan, formerly of the Marked Men, tried a different strategy with his latest project, the Mind Spiders. The first Mind Spiders' album appeared in 2011, but wasn't the work of a group; those recordings featured just Ryan overdubbing himself into an approximation of an ensemble.
Last year's acclaimed debut from the Mind Spiders added strategic hints of garage, bubblegum, and glam to the wistful pop-punk of Pete Shelley before blasting it out to the sprawling bedroom communities of North Texas. On Meltdown, bandleader Mark Ryan heads in a more dystopian direction, perhaps a natural progression for a project Ryan initially intended as a studio entity. While there's nothing here that gets its hooks in as deeply as "Don't Let Her Go" from the band's first album (Mind Spiders), Meltdown has its own distinctively skewed set of charms.