RIVERS, Mind Your Mind

RIVERS, Mind Your Mind

There’s a nicely sludgy, grungy (or rather, grunge-y) feel to Mind Your Mind, the debut full-length from RIVERS; like a lot of bands from a decade or two ago, the band rides the line between bluesy rock and bass-heavy, Sabbath-y metal, with a helping of punk rawk guitar and song structure thrown in for good measure, and they pull it off surprisingly well, especially considering their relative youth.

“What’s the use” lays down the formula for the rest of the album, stomping along a bitter, blues-influenced road alongside loose-limbed, overfuzzed guitars and sneering, dismissive vocals — squint a little, and the band sounds like they could be playing on some obscure classic-rock station somewhere out in the boondocks, rocking and rolling like they maybe did back before you were a kid. At the same time, though, there’s a rough-edged indie/punk sensibility to it, one that cuts through those fuzzy guitars and rumbling basslines.

By the second track on here, “The Follower,” it’s clicked in my brain who the hell it is these guys remind me of most: they’re like primordial, Superfuzz Bigmuff-era Mudhoney more than anything else, pointing a gleeful middle finger backwards at that band’s penchant for bent riffs, muddy-sounding bass, frantic-yet-cool rhythms, and desperate, strained vocals. The resemblance continues on through “Spirit Child,” with its punkish yell-along chorus, whip-cracking beat, and moody, murky feel.

The latter’s probably the best track on Mind Your Mind, by the by, relentlessly addictive in its simplicity and rolling on like a juggernaut even when the band flies off the tracks on some kind of blues-rock-gone-wild jam; it’s practically impossible to not yell along: “Spiiii-rit child / Come and hang with me for a while.” Think vintage Zeppelin if they were mugged in a dank, badly-lit alley somewhere and forced to play for their lives while some scary, vision-seeing guy yelled into the mic, and you’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood, at least.

Mind Your Mind‘s lyrics mostly make me shrug, in that they’re not really anything mind-blowingly great — they get clichéd at points, especially later in the album (the words to “Shades” kind of make me twitch), but hell, they’re not even really the point, here. The lyrics are less about getting any kind of story or message across and more about having something to howl over the music, honestly. And when paired with the messy, raw, sprawling rock-isms the band drags through the muck, it works.

[RIVERS is playing at the Free Press Summerfest, 6/4-6/5 at Eleanor Tinsley Park, along with a ton of other bands.]
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Review by . Review posted Monday, May 9th, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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3 Responses to “RIVERS, Mind Your Mind

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Balaclavas + American Fangs + Featherface + RIVERS + Robbie Fulks + Cancellations + More on May 13th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    […] see live, and soon) and newcomers {RIVERS}, whose debut, Mind Your Mind, I happily reviewed on over here recently. Good, good, good stuff. Be warned, though, that this may be the turned-off version of […]

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Summerfest 2011 Rundown, Pt. 3: Chromeo + Something Fierce + Young Girls + Fucked Up + Perseph One + Little Lo + More on June 19th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    […] Been listening to a lot of RIVERS lately, since I got a hold of their debut Mind Your Mind, which is seven chunks of sprawling, sludgy, kinda-sorta classic rock that burrow into your brain […]

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yes Indeed! 2013 Rundown, Pt. 2: The Dead Revolt + FLCON FCKER + RIVERS + Ex-Optimists + Naughty Professor + Say Girl Say + Electric Attitude + Perseph One + Alkari + More on September 14th, 2013 at 12:38 am

    […] Northwest circa 1991. Unfortunately, the band’s got one measly album out, 2011′s Mind Your Mind, and it’s already two years back down the road. So, you guys, I have to ask: more? Please? […]

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