Blasted Mechanism

Mind at Large

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    8
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Like a bastard child of Hawkwind and Asian Dub Foundation, Mind at Large mixes otherworldly psychedelia and non-Western musical traditions translated to rock in an oddball but uniformly catchy brew. The melodies may seem Middle Eastern or maybe authentic Caribbean, depending on one's frame of reference, but will likely come across as exotic anyway, and the rest of the music only boosts the impression through seriously weird synthesizers, Krautrock motoriks propelling the songs like a warp interstellar drive, camels racing through the nightly desert, or any other kind of weird tripping you don't get in Kansas -- along with vocals of Ozzy gone rasta, departed for astral planes and reporting from there. The rock-cum-techno-cum-foreign bazaar thing is really similar to Asian Dub Foundation, at least in theory, but Blasted Mechanism trade the band's anti-globalistic message and devastating punk energy for esoterica, and don't necessarily get the better end of the bargain -- the music is never as powerful, and powerful is what makes the Londoners so irresistible. But on the other hand, the psychedelic aspirations give Mind at Large an identity, and who likes clones anyway? The mix may be too weak, the "fire-higher-desire" rhyme not poetry prize material, and the band's songwriting approach not exactly varied -- though between the Brazilian traditional music of "Grab a Song" and eye-watering tension of "Hard to Breathe," they have a couple of detours -- but Blasted Mechanism play with conviction and have an open credit line on catchy guitar melodies and strange background noises, and this, at least, makes Mind at Large the prime soundtrack choice for the most intense meditation session ever.

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