Essence of Mind
Category: Electro / Rock
Blurb: Norwegian synth rockers merge catchy dance hooks and high voltage guitars to exorcise their youthful angst in Essence of Mind’s third full-length album.
It’s been less than three years since we’ve last heard form Essence of Mind and their latest offering, Indifference picks up right where Try and Fail left off. Club ready synth lines and raw percussion thrust the listener directly into songs on the new album leading rapidly into guitar riffs and vocals drowning in teenage angst.
The electronics on this album present you with a sound warm and familiar, ever present in the dance clubs. The sound design is towering and fast, bouncing with a kinetic energy that doesn’t leave you long to absorb their texture. Each song catches you quickly, draws you in with its accessible familiarity, and delivers you quickly to programmer and lead singer Erlend Eilertsen’s ruminations flanked by power rock chords on flashing guitar. Eilertsen’s vocals have been processed to provide a chorus like resonance notable in other acts of this vain. He projects a youthful vitality into subject matter that is relatable if you’ve experienced any number of disappointing relationships. The outcome is a kind of Scandinavian cotton candy whine that is appealing if not entirely convincing. The guitars are spritely and fun, reminiscent of good chase scene movie pop, but the individual riffs are forgotten as soon as the next song begins. The drums are where the production on this album really pops. Using either very high quality samples or recorded live, the drum lines sweat and crack with a live show authenticity that adds a necessary bit of grit to the otherwise high gloss fanfare. The production on the album is clearly professional and strong, but the mixing is bland and lacks imagination; listening carefully in headphones will yield few, if any, surprises.
Eilertsen’s lyrics, beginning with Essence of Mind’s debut album, Insurrection, seem captivated by the notion of the personal authenticity and he continues his explorations here. “It’s Killing You” and “Retreat” both feature continuing meditations on the nature of persona. It’s interesting to observe his thoughts on this matter given the times in which we live and as is to be expected, Eilertsen’s conclusions are bleak. “Take a look in the mirror,” he intones on “It’s Killing You,” “and see if you can hide from the one you face each day.” Eilertsen has grown a great deal as a songwriter and his choice of wording no longer pulls you out of the enjoyment of the song. Instead, the lyrics blend in easily with the rest of the piece, adding to the greater whole, but offering little in terms of revelation. Perhaps the most interesting piece on Indifference is “In Line,” found at the very end of the album. Hip-hop syncopation mixed with industrial synth textures leave you nodding your head and wondering what the direction the track will take, at least until Essence of Mind hits you with the power rock angle once again. It’s a pity that this easily recognizable track didn’t take a different path; it’s enticing to imagine a standout dance song built around its catchy hook.
Despite its tormented pretentions, Indifference doesn’t carry much gravitas. But then, you imagine that it’s not supposed to. The tracks feel light and airy after they’ve played, possessing an adolescent energy that cannot be denied, evoking the spirit of teenaged seriousness everywhere. Music good for driving, Indifference should be enjoyed in the car, with your friends on a Friday night.
Essence of Mind Website http://www.essence-of-mind.com
Essence of Mind MySpace http://www.myspace.com/essenceofmind
Essence of Mind Facebook http://www.facebook.com/essenceofmind
Essence of Mind Twitter https://twitter.com/essenceofmind
Essence of Mind SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/essenceofmind
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Amazon CD (Standard)
Amazon CD (Deluxe)
Brendan Leonard (vonruthven)