Q: Are we not men? A: We are Mind Spiders!Dirtnap Records, 2018
Purchase: Bandcamp / Amazon
7.5 / 10
It’s so passe’ to write an album about technology’s negative impact on our lives. You know what I mean: a record with themes of alienation, littered with electronic/synthesizer flourishes that are meant to mirror our own distance from analog values. You get it. Following in the footsteps of OK Computer, you better have something to say. Otherwise, it all feels like a retread. Mind Spiders push forward with their new record Furies. It’s an album that assumes technology has already taken over. That alienation you feel, that void, that death of emotion? It’s a feature, not a bug.
Mind Spiders fill Furies with bursts of energy and discordant guitar riffs. These moments feel like an LCD screen cracking pieces at a time (see the album artwork) until the technology is worthless. Crappy humans getting in the way of good, honest design. This music puts an image into my head: half-human, half-machine androids milling about, trying to mind their business. However, they quickly break down because of the worthless humanity that inhabits them. In that way, the musicality owes some to Devo and other proto-punk bands, but the themes and feel come from electronic projects like Blanck Mass.
There’s plenty of abrasions and harsh edges to make Furies a prickly record, but don’t worry: it flies by in a brisk 33 minutes, like punk records should. Everything culminates in the lyric-less “August”, a sound collage that is at times atonal, broken, and spooky. The humanity that railed against the electronic bottom of Furies is gone: nothing is left but the cold grip of the machines.