Music has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember and so has playing music. Being in a local band is a hard job my friends. It has gotten a lot easier with the MySpaces and PureVolumes of the world, but when I was in bands and gigging there was nothing but word of mouth and talent. Then again, I was playing in Bend, OR and that in itself was a challenge to get any credibility. A few years ago I was introduced to a band called 5 South when I moved to Eugene, OR and I could not believe what I had heard. It was something so melodically beautiful yet bone crushingly hard. The band eventually broke up and some of the members lived on to create a new band called A Mind Like Yours. I can't think of a better description for these guys than what their web site states, "A Mind Like Yours will kill everyone in a room and not even care." Every time I have been lucky enough to watch them play, they have just destroyed and completely owned the crowd.
Through constant lineup changes the three stable members of the band Michael Aliotti (drums and vocals), Michael Schwartz (guitar), and Lucas Calder on (guitar) have lived on to write another fantastic EP. The follow-up to 2004's "Everyone Must Parlour" (check out some of their older songs at http://www.15megsoffame.com/artist/2348/A-Mind-Like-Yours ) is an even bolder step out into the world of metal and hardcore. "Blacklisted: Episodes from the Great Vertigo Paralysis" should be a full concept album, and the three song EP gives a great glimpse at the growth the boys in A Mind Like Yours have made. The guitar section in the band has never sounded so good, it is thick and heavy, and at times a completely separate monster, creating its own havock away from the band. The style Schwartz and Calderon bring as individuals to the guitar sound in A Mind Like Yours gracefully compliments one another, fitting perfectly with the band's overall sound as well. The only thing I can say negatively about this album is that I want to hear more bass from Drew! Maybe it's just the crappy speakers on my laptop, but at the live shows I love hearing the thumping bass amidst the chaos of the guitars. Michael has come a long way as a singer since the days of 5 South and does an incredible job of mixing brutal screams with passionate vocals. In the last few months, A Mind Like Yours had gone drummerless and faced a tough decision of how to go on. Michael stepped up and pulled a Phil Collins and now rocks out behind the kit while screaming his head off. It is a testiment to the band's musicianship that they can have a great stage presence with their frontman behind the drums.
Now that the story has been told, we can get on to the songs of the EP. There are three tracks (Episodes) that comprise the CD. "Episode One: Late Night at the ICU (My Room): White Canvas Walls and Bed Sheets Laced In Debauchery" opens with a brutal aural assault from the band and goes straight into a grooving metal line that is somewhat remeniscent of Pantera and Black Label Society. There is as always some fantastic guitar work here and great breakdowns by the band. Michael's vocals have a great place to go during this song with a good mix of singing and screaming. However, his vocals shine the most on "Episode Two: Guns For Every Single One of You (My Lovers): The Impossibility of Protection Without Solitude". During the chorus of the song, Michael's screams and singing are layered over the top of each other and create a new sound for the band that is amazing. This track is definitely my favorite and features the best musicianship from the band. Each member sounds awesome on it and just when you think the song is calming down it blows up in your ears, which is always a welcome surprise.
The best song title of the album goes to the album closer "Episode Three: If Someone Asks You if You Are God, You Say Yes (My Divinity): A Bland Life Drive Versus the Lush Death Instinct". As much as I love this song, I feel cheated when I hear it because I know it's the end of the EP and I feel there is still so much more to be said and heard. The building and churning guitars in this song just get you pumped up for the next verse or chorus and it never falls off and fails, you just keep getting smacked around. The breakdown in the middle of the song reminds me a lot of Thrice and Poison the Well, especially when Schwartz and Calderon harmonize their guitars. "Blacklisted: Episodes from the Great Vertigo Paralysis" is an audible gang beating on your soul and I really hope that the boys in A Mind Like Yours continue to rock and kill everyone in the room, we need more bands like them.
To get in touch with A Mind Like Yours:
Booking: booking @ amindlikeyours.com
Contact: info @ amindlikeyours.com