Mind! – “Stunde Null” (Not on Label Records 2013, NOL-001, LP)

Mind! are a new spacerock quartet from Algeciras, Spain. Riding in on a wave of rolling chords and motorik beats, Mind! epitomize the traditional spacerock sound, drawing on influences such as Hawkwind and Pink Floyd.

A rush of cosmic noise ushers in the first song, Sundrun Hreyfingarlaus, an instrumental based around a simple but effective chord progression, with various effects and layers of sound building one upon the next till the lead guitar finally takes over, bringing a bit of somewhat belated melody to the sonic textures. Battery Licker is the most overtly Hawkwind styled song on the album, built again on a simple chord progression, but with some cool lead guitar interspersed between the Dave Brock like vocals. Things catch fire on Cucumbers From Mars, to me the real centerpiece of the album: a menacing baseline reminiscent of early Floyd is paired with trippy 1960’s style organ swirling through creepy passages of sound, all building, after almost 9-minutes to a deliciously chaotic conclusion. Magallanes is a dark and spooky desert piece that reminded me a bit of the kind of sound the band Earth have been exploring. It’s unfortunately brief, clocking in at just over 2-minutes. I thought it would have made a nice intro to a longer piece, but it ends all too soon with a quick fade out. The band redeem themselves, however, with the trippy Cosmic Tide, a slow and drifting wave of spacious vibes, dreamy guitar and blissed out vocals. Time to Fly is the longest track on the album at just over 10-minutes. The first half is a pulsing, march-like odyssey, that brought to mind the weird, rocky alien landscapes from the covers of those old sci-fi novels of the 60’s and 70’s. It gives way to a very Floydian turn, reminding me of something perhaps from the Wish You Were Here period, with lush strumming acoustic guitars, lysergic singing and a soaring, Gilmouresque lead guitar. The album concludes with the brief Senallagam. As its title would suggest, it’s basically Magallanes played backwards.

The band has a good vibe going, but at times seems a bit derivative to me. The other thing I felt was that the songs got a bit repetitive at times. Not that the songs sound the same as each other; each one definitely has its own feel, but within the songs, riffs get repeated often, as well as vocal lines. The band write some affective melodies, but I kept waiting for it to change, for perhaps a chorus to come, but it was all verses. These are little nitpicky points, meant not to put down but to encourage. There’s certainly talent here, and I`m sure the band will find its own sound as they develop. Stunde Null is definitely worth a listen, though. Perhaps not a spacerock classic in its own right, but a definite step in the right direction with some cool sonic ideas happening.

For more info, visit http://mindspacerock.bandcamp.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mindspacerock

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

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