Release Date: Feb 1, 2011
Record label: Dirtnap Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Mind Spiders-- whose self-titled debut was conceived almost entirely by frontman Mark Ryan during downtime from his gig in the Denton, Tex., outfit Marked Men-- don't present themselves as a particularly careful or calculating act. Playing fast and loose, Mind Spiders exist in a universe where the Flaming Sideburns never crumbled under the weight of garage rock revival excitement, where pulse-quickening legends Jay Reatard and (fellow Dirtnap Records alums) the Exploding Hearts never met their tragic ends. The songs on Mind Spiders are energetic but not in-your-face, fun but not goofy, sharp but not stifled, wild but not boorish.
Mind Spiders’ debut album is all energy, all the time, with most of the 12 tracks being played at breakneck speed. The band’s mastermind Mark Ryan wrote and recorded most of the songs all by himself, and it shows in the album’s tossed-off, low-fi feel. The album feels like a ramshackle, garage-rock take on power-pop. This translates into the bulk of the songs having catchy hooks that only reveal themselves upon multiple listens, because it takes a while to ferret out the hooks from beneath the layers of fuzzy guitars and pounding drums.
Any punk band worth its weight in vinyl has its own theme song. The Mind Spiders' calling card on their Dirtnap debut makes a compelling introduction: four-track hiss radiates a sci-fi glow, with double-tracked drums and weirdo-ripping guitar hooks that stick like gum to hot cement. Mark Ryan, who handles most of the instrumentation, approximates a one-man supergroup guided by voices.