From their formation in July 2010 Bristol band Mind Museum has intently been working on their sound and songwriting resulting in their debut release the Rat Race EP, a package of four songs that are varied, expressive and extremely impressive. Their alternative rock sound lined with some punk energy is creatively involved and delivered with a polished production that also allows the passion in the music to pour out easily.
The trio of vocalist Justin E Percival, who is also the bassist, guitarist Will Slater, and drummer Chas Bacon are accomplished musicians, Percival and Slater having a pedigree from being in former bands I AM THE DOOR and Full Scream Ahead together. That has given them a surety and confidence in their craft going into Mind Museum which is clearly apparent on Rat Race. Each song on the EP is dripping in emotive lyrics and delivery from Percival, his style similar in some ways to Brian Molko explaining the Placebo comparisons the band often gets. The trio dip deeply into a harder rock sound though with big firm hypnotic riffs via Percival’s delicious basslines and Slater’s impressive grooves, whilst the drums of Bacon are commanding and tightly forceful.
‘Rat Race’ opens up the EP, an urgent and incisive slice of rock, striking cleanly with inviting riffs and formidable passion oozing through from Percival, the sound carrying a hybrid Lost Prophets/At The Drive In vibe soothed with a Jimmy Eats World melodic approach, a comparison that basically tells you Mind Museum have a sound that is unique.
The following two tracks ‘Everything Eventually’ and ‘The Secret Of Happiness’, use the same essential elements as the opener but have a more personal feel, though the first of the two songs lyrically can be interpreted socially too. The earnest vocals of Percival drags every ounce of emotion out of the songs and alongside the great guitar play makes the tracks, which though as instant as their predecessor, certainly as rewarding.
The EP closes with ‘Seal The Cracks’, a fine pop punk track that ripples with a pulsating bassline and delightful melodies within its harsher framework. The song sits in the Jimmy Eats World camp of sound easily though whether the Americans have ever produced the urgency and power evident here is unlikely. A brilliant end to what is a very satisfying and rewarding debut and notice that we are in for some real delights over the months and years ahead from Mind Museum.
The Rat Race EP is stylish and immediately impressive delivering more and more joy as it plays its length whilst Mind Museum a band that will be garnering far more than simple praise as the release finds more and more welcoming ears and hearts. They have opened their account with certain promise and definite delivery that makes them essential listening now and for future releases.
Pete RingMaster 04/07/2011