Blogger Get To The Chorus has posted an excellent review of the debut album from The Mind Sweepers on Facebook…..we’ve copied it below:
“The MIND sweepers, (yes The MIND sweepers) have been around locally here in Galloway for a few years, in one capacity or another. I first heard Paul Winter (vocals and guitar) perform a few times in our local in Dumfries probably around 10 years ago, just solo open mic nights and/or afternoons, long before the The Mind Sweepers, it was a no frills, no effects on vox or guitar affair, it was as raw as live music gets. I then have seen him perform perhaps 2014? For the launch of the Lost Wasp Records label in Gatehouse were he came armed with some new material, one of which was the “The Mating Game” a story of alcohol and seedy copulation and violence I remember an old lady sitting directly behind me that night “gasping” at the abrasive yet brutally honest lyrical content – settle Missus. Various local acts performed that night, such as The Razorbills, Marcus Samson Wright (Now of High Street Records) and the awesome James Smyth who now performs under the name Captain Zanzibar. Not long after this, The Mind Sweepers were formed after drummer Bryn Thorburn teamed up with Paul and it all started to make more sense. A fuller sound began to ensue, more palatable, sonically satisfying, same songs just given more limbs to stand on. The line up from then until now has gone through some changes but as this album is released it has become a more static unit.
States of mind is, without a doubt, a soundtrack for the coming summer so releasing it in spring is tactically shrewd. All tracks are sing-alongs, 21st-century private soliloquies that define time and place. Is it indie? Is it folk? Is it a little bit country? A little bit rock n roll? … Ummm… the answer is yes it is!! This is an immediately easily accessible album, it has a real identity, it is what it is, they are what they are in the same way The Eagles weren’t just a country act, and that is as best as I can put it.
In delivering this record, the boys have stuck to what they know which is songs they are very familiar and comfortable with and it’s that familiarity and comfort that really translates across to the listener. Imagine midsummer, the back of your mate’s car. driving to a festival, bleaching hot sunshine, – this record is on the stereo. It’s a soundtrack for moments like these. As I listen to “States of Mind” (as I write this) I’m already familiar with a few of these songs through live shows and immediately they sound different and this serves as The Mind Sweepers now having a “sound”. I find myself looping “Light of my Life”, its warmth and drive is big and powerful and will be played on many a radio this summer, the choral harmonies hark back to the 70s and breathe beautiful life into an otherwise sad story of love lost. Other highlights are “Taken by the Tide”, “A 1000 ships they sailed” and the sublimely tender “Castaway” which I like to think it is a continuation of “Light of my Life”, only later on that night.
A few weeks ago I managed to catch up briefly with Bryn Thorburn (Drums) after their support slot with The Skids. (Just take this opportunity to thank all the Sweepers for a guest pass that night, it was kinda pricey otherwise so thank you) Bryn drove me home after the gig and let me hear an advance of the album. Bryn will testify that I was immediately impressed, in particular with the vocals. I say that because Paul has such a big singing voice, he could fill the Mariana trench…. without a PA, but now, I dare say, his soft, tender airy vocal delivery is so very intimate and I’m so impressed that I ask Bryn to play “castaway” again.
Win Liv Shak., Owen Fielding, Al Price all guest on the album to great addition and effect, everything is at the surface for the listener to cherry pick, some of the guitar playing reminds me of Johnny Marr and his tight and crisp meandering lines, the bass and drums are deep, simple and solid, everything serves the song, nothing is overplayed or indulged. Everyone involved has laboured, there is no half-arsed complacency, these songs are so perfectly set in stone which brings me to the production. The album was recorded by Huey Dowling at Unit 7 Studio (Bladnoch) in Wigtown. I’m not just impressed with the production of this record, I’m so so impressed with the hazy, summer fields, stoned feel that is intrinsically captured in the production. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough, it’s such a warm record, reflective, happy, modest, and wistfully youth filled. A lot of elements have clearly clicked in bringing “States of Mind” to life, be it by design or serendipity it doesn’t matter, it’s irrelevant.
“He really got the best out of us,” Says Bryn.
The Mind Sweepers are ready for the summer, they sound fantastic and this is a real step up for them, effortless and lazy…..A beautiful record.