MINE’s first offering is the work of former Hang The Bastard vocalist Chris Barling and former Centurions Ghost vocalist Mark Scurr. An equal parts atmospheric and brutally heavy four-track introduction to what will likely be one of the coming year’s big hitters.
‘MINE’ opens with the slow, delay laden intro riff to ‘Crossed Out’ and with it brings a sense of uncertainty. This EP could move in any number of directions and the subtle intricacies of this neat playing give nothing away. That is until the bass crashes in following a slow, clean build. Powerful, crunching bass sits well beneath the continuing riff to give the first impression of where this record may actually lead. Harsh, desperate vocals complete proceedings and carry through to the end. The slow ambient builds are interrupted only by choruses perhaps too simple for playing of this quality, however, the intelligent use of effects maintains the feel as well as allowing what might in other hands be too standard a hardcore chorus to flow excellently within this opening track.
&lt;a href=“http://mineculture.bandcamp.com/album/mine” data-mce-href=“http://mineculture.bandcamp.com/album/mine”&gt;MINE by MINE&lt;/a&gt;
Second track ‘What Kind Of Bird Are You?’ bursts to life with an urgency that immediately grabs attention. A very short drum intro serves as a precursor to the power to come. From the first snare hit it’s apparent that this one is going to be a hard hitter and the discordant might that follows confirms the belief. Around the midway point ‘What Kind Of Bird Are You?’ suddenly slows, a reminder of the band’s ear for the ethereal, before breaking back into a driving chunk of hardcore served intelligently by the slower period it follows.
Returning to the structure that made ‘Crossed Out’ so interesting, MINE begin their penultimate track ‘Hidden in Drawers’ slowly. Clean, intricate guitar playing atop solid bass, which itself is cleaner here than on the opener. ‘Hidden In Drawers’ provides the best blend of the two alternating styles that MINE have been offering throughout. Wondrously mixing the enormous aesthetics with the rough hardcore that fits so sweetly between into one massive sounding track.
There seems to be a one on/one off theme with this record. The odd numbered tracks start slow, those even numbered igniting immediately as if to remind the listener that ‘MINE’ is a heavy record. This is in no way a complaint, however. With four tracks there aren’t many options with regards to the playlist and this EP runs excellently from start to finish. Fourth and final track, ‘4 Back Seats’ smashes its way out of the feedback that tails off ‘Hidden In Drawers’ and is the one song on this short record that never lets up, ever. Notably the shortest song on the EP it opens fast and gruff, distorted guitar playing runs amuck over hard driving bass carried perfectly by cymbal ridden drumming. Barling’s vocals are immense here, rarely giving way and carrying this standout track through to its abrupt end.
At just fifteen minutes long this record serves as a mere taster of what will hopefully follow. ‘MINE’ is a great introductory record by a band signed to Holy Road Records from its inception. There is work for MINE to do, songs don’t always flow perfectly and from time to time the writing seems ever so slightly lazy – whacking effects over a couple of chords might make it sound more interesting but doesn’t always feel thoughtfully crafted. Regardless of these minor issues though, this is exciting.
‘MINE’ EP by MINE is out now on Holy Roar Records.
Words by Tom Knott (@nounandthenouns)