Mind Funk


Mind Funk

Mind Funk - Mind Funk ©1991 Epic
1. Sugar Ain't So Sweet
2. Ride & Drive
3. Bring It On
4. Big House Burning
5. Fire
6. Blood Runs Red
7. Sister Blue
8. Woke Up This Morning
9. Innocence
10. Touch You

With band lineage being derived from Celtic Frost, M.O.D., Nirvana, OLD and Uniform Choice, Mind Funk started out immediately with the "supergroup" label being firmly attached. But regardless of all that previous work experience, Mind Funk sounded nothing like any of their roots might suggest as there is literally no hardcore or death metal sound to be found here whatsoever. Rather, Mind Funk's debut album featured a rock sound that borrowed liberally from decades of music but mostly focusing on writing heavy rock songs. The result is an album that features a couple excellent songs and quite a few decent tagalongs. However, all the pre-release hype didn't add up to a lot of sales and subsequently Mind Funk spiralled into oblivion afterwards and now this self-titled effort can mostly be found in cheapo bins everywhere.

Nevertheless, one man's throwaway is another's bargain bin value. As stated previously, the band was capable and the album oozes energy and talent. Lead guitarist Louis Svitek, who, along with bassist John Monte, had last been spotted in Billy Milano's "unstoppable" M.O.D. lineup for Gross Misconduct, seems quite at ease being more than a thrash metal player. Using a bevy of distortion and wah pedals, Svitek offers a lot of interesting leads and solos as well as building a lot of texture into the music. Singer Patrick Dubar, formerly of straight edgers Uniform Choice, is a very capable singer and throws a lot of emotion and range into the songs. The other member is Jason Coppola on guitar. These collective talents seem to work fairly well on this record.

The production is very polished and clear here, making for a CD that sounds very good. The best tracks include album opener "Sugar Ain't So Sweet", the clean guitar approach of "Sister Blue" and the aggression of "Ride & Drive". Though this isn't the kind of record you end up playing often, it does have a lot to offer in terms of strong musicianship as well as some good songs. Considering copies can be spotted for cheap in nearly every used CD store and pawn shop across the country, there really isn't any reason not to have a copy.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2001

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Dropped

Mind Funk - Dropped ©1993 Megaforce
1. Goddess
2. Closer
3. Drowning
4. In The Way Eye
5. Zootiehead
6. Wisteria
7. Mama, Moses And Me
8. 11 Ton Butterfly
9. Hogwallow
10. Billygoat
11. Hollow

This may end up being one of the best albums to emerge during the grunge frenzy that erupted in the early 1990s, although chances are no one realizes it nor pegs Mind Funk as a grunge band. However, unlike the more psychedelic and upbeat debut album, Dropped is a much heavier, downbeat and emotional record. One could suggest that Mind Funk was equally enamored with the heavy groove of Black Sabbath as downtuned grunge, but regardless, Dropped landed extremely well.

The band did see some lineup changes between the debut and this release, with drummer Reed St. Mark leaving and being replaced by Shawn Johnson. Moreover, guitarist Jason Everman, who had previously done stints with OLD, Soundgarden and Nirvana, joined for this album. The band was also dropped by their original label, Sony, and Dropped may very well be a reflection of that change.

The album is played with honest conviction in the music and very well produced by Terry Date with maximum heaviness without obscuring the material behind too much density. The guitars are especially well done within this context, allowing for snappy, defining rhythms to work with intelligent leads. Vocally, Patrick Dubar offers quite a handful of memorable melodies throughout the record, with Everman providing good harmony and backups. The songs range from energetic ("Mama, Moses and Me") to brooding and pensive ("Drowning"). The band comes across as more convinced by their own material, moreso than the debut release. The result is a long but ultimately satisfying record that delivers the promise of the dismal view offered by heavy "grunge" music without resorting to simply downtuning instruments. Dropped should be immediately picked up by fans of this area of music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2001

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