The hype and official promotional blurb say “Imagine the original Alice Cooper band jamming in a cell with early Black Sabbath and the Stooges, whilst sitting on murder charges and you may get a glimpse into their fuzzed up world of exploding tube amps and cymbal smashing mayhem.” That paints quite a picture, but when you eventually wrap your ears around Mind Control, it becomes evidently apparent that this dramatic play on words does justice to their sound. This is the British underground heroes’ third album to date and showcases their themes of horror and lust within a frame of grime and distortion.
You won’t instantly recognise this is a concept album, darker than the color black in substance and writhing in unsettled anguish. The songs are well crafted with 60s flavored vocals slithering over the constantly changing riffs. Check out one of the highlights in the shape of Mind Crawler or the single Poison Apple as clear examples of such audio debauchery.
If you appreciate the finest and tightest production values from the likes of Def Leppard, then this album might offend. Mind Control deals in dirty, greasy sounds that feel like they were recorded from within a studio located somewhere in a hot and sticky marshland, overwhelmed by annoying flies and insects creeping and crawling throughout every orifice.
Desert Ceremony lumbers along effortlessly and works very well, as does the epic seven minutes plus of Valley of the Dolls. Cambridgeshire, England is so unassuming and quaint that the last thing you would expect is darkness of this calibre. At odd moments one could raise comparisons with the cult classic Fast Stories From Kid Coma by the dreadfully overlooked band Truly.
Anyone looking to frighten their MP3 player this year could do a lot worse than purchase this fine collection of nine fuzz-laden psychedelic trips that we know eerily as Mind Control.