Mechanics Of The Mind is a hard rock band hailing from Phoenix AZ, which seems to have a decent metal scene by the way. Now these guys aren’t what I would consider to be a metal band, but more a hard rock band with a metal edge. They aren’t a complex piece of work, and they aren’t necessarily simplistic either, they lie somewhere in between, but the quality of what they do is evident to this mofo.
Quality of music is a bit subjective I think, we all have slightly varying tastes, and my personal tastes in metal run pretty wide, which means I DEFINITELY include a great hard rock band as near enough to metal that I will put my ear to it and give it listen. Which is exactly what I did here. And quality is also determined within the sphere of any particular subgenre. In other words, I’m not a big fan of death metal or extreme metal, but I’m not stupid enough to think there aren’t quality bands within that subgenre, there most definitely are. Understanding that makes it easy for me to evaluate bands ranging from hard rock to Thrash Metal, and every subgenre in between.
The band is based out of Phoenix AZ and is comprised of the following members:
- Terry Scott: Bass
- Tony Linhares: Guitar
- Michael Reardon: Vocals
- Forest White: Drums
These are a group of rock veterans that have put their minds together to create some quality sounding hard rock. My review sample was very small as they have only released one song on Reverbnation, Rubber Bullets, this is due to them being in the studio putting an album together for release next year (2015). Upon my request they were kind enough to send me a couple more songs, Gamble With The Devil and Distorted Eyes.
The music has a strong underlying grunge era sound akin to Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, and Alice in Chains, even some of Faith No More’s melodic sensibilities are thrown in, especially in some of the vocal melodies. There is an underlying blues feel to it too, though very subtle, especially in some of the vocal phrasing and tone. The guitars have a crisp tone that’s not quite metal heavy but somewhere between AC/DC and Soundgarden, which is to say the tone is good, a little dry, but good. Keep in mind that this is probably not the final mix since they are still in the studio. The only thing really lacking in tone is the bass, it gets a little lost in the mix, but again that just might be because this is not the final mix. The musicianship is fine, the mix and tones need some work.
The best part of this band is the vocal work of Michael Reardon. The guy has a great voice. It’s gritty, dirty, powerful, and cuts right through the mix like a sledgehammer. There’s a bit of a bluesy edge there mixed with a gruff hard rock/metal approach that works really well with the musical whole. It’s also consistent in its style, though it has the expected cleaner, less powerful moments and the more powerful vocal push. It moves BETWEEN these to extremes really well too, that’s what I mean by consistency. It doesn’t just go from clean to full fucking hardcore like crap metalcore singers do. It’s distinct, has style, and will be the focus of the band in my opinion.
The only real criticism’s are in the mix and tones of the music, but those are minimal because the overall production is quite good despite being unfinished. The other thing I have a bit of an issue with has to do with the the bass/drums interplay – There isn’t enough of it. The individual chops are good for both, but at times there is no real rhythm section going on here, I hear to much of the bass simply following the guitar lines, or vice versa if the primary songwriter is the bass player. But that’s not enough to take away from what is some pretty good hard rock.
Of the three songs I listened to the one that shines is Gamble With The Devil. It’s a great hard rock song that starts out with a subtle bass intro then crescendo’s into gear with a nice groove that leads into a memorable chorus. The verse is catchy too but that damn pre-chorus is awesome as it ascends up the scale and brings to mind a Mike Patton warbly vocal styling that kicks ass. The other two songs are not as memorable as this one, but they are still good and worth your time.
All in all I think that Mechanics Of The Mind is a band that has alot to offer for those that are seeking a more hard rock sound versus a heavy metal sound. Though they do tend to walk the line between the two much of the time. I’ll be looking out for their full album release next year. Check out their song Rubber Bullets below
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