The Open Mind

The Open Mind

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As a defining point of the U.K. psychedelic/progressive rock crossover, the Open Mind's sole album is the perfect specimen. With a singing style rooted in the freakbeat era, rather than the operatic tenor screams hard rock ushered in, and acidic duel guitars, heavier than those of a typical psychedelic act, The Open Mind filled the gap between the beginning of one era and the end of another. "Magic Potion" is unarguably their greatest moment. Its monotonous rhythm guitar anticipates the stoner rock of Hawkind while double bass drum fills and doom-laden fuzz guitar ragas combine bombastic rock power with Eastern-influenced psychedelia. Magnificent! "Girl, I'm So Alone" -- a remake of early Open Mind lineup, mod band the Drag Set's "Get out of My Way" -- harks back to a 1967 feel, as do a number of other songs that show the band being not quite as progressive as they intended. However, both the heavier and mod styles work well, but where they fall down is on some rather laborious numbers that just don't take off. Unfortunately, "Magic Potion" is the benchmark that everything they wrote is compared to, and when a song is that good, nothing else measures up. Still, as a whole, this album is a solid product of the time. It might not merit the "classic" status dealers apply to it, but it won't disappoint either.

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