Independent release, 2005
REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/19/2007
As each little stack of indie offerings come across my desk I pick them up carefully with a pair of tongs and let the dog sniff them, peek at the liner notes, slap them around a little, sniff them myself and then play 'em. And yet I remain employed and married.
Usually if I get to track two and it’s not making me ill or bored, I’ll let it play on through. Sometimes the first track tells it all. Sometimes that first 30 seconds sells me, or tells me I’ll never play it again.
And sometimes it blows me away. When the self-titled release by NY trio Mind Capsule hit my stereo, it did just that.
Mind Capsule is an instrumental album of amazing depth and complexity. Dark, moody grooves that sometimes echo Pink Floyd or latter-day King Crimson at their trippiest share space with hints of industrial metal and jazz that pepper the songs in just the right places. Super-saturated guitars weave in and out of dense rhythmic pulses in a hypnotic snake dance that can soothe or energize, depending on your mood.
Don’t get the impression that this is mere ambient sound or repetitious electronica. There is a very organic feel to this album due to the prevalence of the guitars, and in spite of the occasional drum loops. The composition is crisp and complex and deserves more than a passing listen to understand its many layers. Dense, surging melodies ebb and flow. Trip-hop beats give way to lush swells of rich, earthy guitar chords. Musical genres and boundaries are transcended on every track of this excellent disc.
There is a strong feeling of cohesion and a sense that the individual tracks on the disc belong together, but they are each individually diverse and bear their own unique sonic signature. The opening “Submersible” starts out with a cool, smoky beat while the guitars surge up with a metallic moan, slowly building and rising from a melancholy sigh to a demanding crescendo. It's a very spacey trip, in contrast to the jazzy beat and 70s funk guitar of “Transmit.”Each track has a perfect place in this disc. “Clockwork” infuses a brooding, slower groove with industrial metal riffs and some hair-raising feedback. The rich sonic depth and sense of texture is complemented by lush production.
I have fallen in love with this disc, and am salivating over the arrival of their second release, which is just where a band should be after you discover them.