Mock Orange

Mind Is Not Brain

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Indiana's Mock Orange released their first record in 1998, but it's with 2004's Mind Is Not Brain that they have really come into their own. Sounding like a Midwestern Modest Mouse high on Pavement, they delightfully rip through stabbing indie rock and crunchy (ironically) feel-good melancholia. On "Hawks Can Go," they prove they can wield a lyric like "God damn" almost as well as Isaac Brock. The contagious "I Keep Saying So Long" is worthy of Dinosaur Jr. circa Green Mind -- and rock & roll compliments don't get much better than that. The band shakes through the title track like Built to Spill before taking on the subtle shimmer of "East Side Song" and the heartland rock of "Make Friends," which means that Mock Orange really are indie rock's secret weapon -- they are above the emo fray, hark back to greats like Hüsker Dü as well as contemporaries like Love As Laughter, and never rely on the simplicity of overplayed punk-pop. Frankly, they can do it all, always with an unhinged lo-fi edge, and not giving them some serious attention would be criminal.

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