Get To The Chorus reviews States of Mind

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.

S

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Limited Edition of CD Version of States of Mind now available

A very limited edition run of 25 copies of the CD version of The Mind Sweepers debut album “States of Mind” is now available to purchase via our Bandcamp page. With stunning artwork by drummer Bryn Thorburn this CD is well worth adding to your collection. Grab your copy now before they run out.

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Mind Games

March 2nd sees the release of the debut album by The Mind Sweepers.

Based in Dumfries the four piece band has undergone a number of line-up changes over the last few years built around the core of singer/songwriter Paul Winter and drummer Bryn Thorburn. The current band also comprises John Mcinally- Guitar and Backing Vocals and Mark Jardine – Bass and Backing Vocals.

As well as the core members of the band other musicians appear – Win Liv Shak provides vocals and keyboards, Owen Fielding provides keyboards and harmonium and Al Price plays harmonica. The allbum was recorded and produced at Unit 7 studio Bladnoch , Wigtown , Dumfries and Galloway.

“States of Mind” offers a broad palette of styles moving from psychedelic grooves, via folk-rock into blues rock and should gain the band more followers.

We asked the band a few questions in preparation for the release of the album although bassist Jardine was extraordinarily reticent….

What bands were you in previously?

Bryn : The Garden Shed (mid 80s) ……..Dumfries based post-punk…Roger and Caz went on to form AC Acoustics in Glasgow. Lung….Manchester late 80s with Vicky MIddles on bass. Spacehopper….. 1991- 1998 Glasgow based Art Noise Terrorists( self proclaimed)…Signed to the Newly Formed Creeping Bent Records. Gram Solo……2002- 2005 Edinburgh psychedelic groovers. Currently also the main man behind The Screaming Love Collective…..A Psychedelic Post-Punk Dark Disco Groove Sensation.

Paul :  I got a band together in the mid-90s, The Comedown, we rehearsed for 6 months, played one gig, then disbanded. I then sang blues with a loose collective for a while, before moving into the singer/songwriter role for about a decade.

John : No past bands only jamming with some lads playing indie/madchester covers in 1990/91.

Influences?

Bryn : My biggest influence as a drummer is John Densmore of The Doors.
Musically…..PIL, The Fall, Joy Division, Crass, Northern Soul, Neu, Can, Krautrock in general, KLF, Scars, Josef K, NomeansNo, US Hardcore, Long Fin Killie.  (Glasgow early 90s). I could go on and on.

Paul : My influences are right across the board. Anywhere from early Elton John, to John Martyn, Pink Floyd to Bob Dylan. I’ve never had the money to buy a digital radio, so I’ve kinda missed the Radio 6 vibe. I’ve always found listening to other music kind of dilutes originality, and rarely hear anything ‘new’ that blows me away, with the exception of Doves, I love Doves.

John : The Byrds.. Hendrix.. Stone Roses.. 60’s psychedelia and soul.. The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Current album listening?

Bryn : Snapped Ankles – Come Play The Trees.

Paul : Well I just moved into a new flat and got my turntable in operation for the first time in over 10 years, so i’m currently reliving old vinyl. ‘Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’ by Elton.

John : The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

MD Dumfries 2
Photograph – Brad Cain

The mix of styles on the album?

Bryn : Yeah a very mixed bunch of styles……as you can see from the answers above we are all into different styles of music and don’t want to tied down to a particular type, but we like to think that we can put our own sound on whatever style we are playing , so you’d know it was The Mind Sweepers.

Paul : Variance? Why not? I’ve found throughout my years of listening to albums that some bands end-up sounding ‘samey’, and you’re hard-pressed to even know the difference between certain tracks. In my view the vocals, and lead guitar, are what put the stamp on a band’s sound, obviously the rhythm section add to this, but to me it doesn’t matter what ‘type’ of song we’ve written, if it’s us playing it then it’s the Sweeper’s sound. I don’t think an album should be staid and stuck in a groove that repeats for an hour, with only tempo and lyrics changing. The Mind Sweepers are a sum total of all our parts. We can all play, and we’re all capable of original input, so why not go with that and see where it takes us. ‘States of Mind’ is the result of that ethos, and we’re quite proud of it.

John : The changes in line-up have definitely evoked a more psychedelic sound to the band

On the face of it, just the looking at some of the song titles there appears to be a nautical theme across the album?

Paul : My auld man was a sailor in the Royal Navy, and ended-up being a diver on cruisers. As a wee boy it was always my intention to join up and follow in his footsteps, but these hopes were dashed when I found out I was colourblind. Fast forward 20-odd years and it’s a motif that’s stuck with me. ‘Any Port in a Storm’ isn’t really about the sea, it’s about the beer-goggle ‘honey’ ye pull at midnight. ‘Taken by the Tide’ was an address to a female in my life as to whether I was actually any good to be around in the long run. (I wasn’t!) ‘Cast Away’ is a play on words , and not really nautical in all honesty. Had it been spelled as one word it would have taken on another meaning, and that’s why I named it as two separate words, to avoid that. ‘Nose Deep in the Sand’? ‘Sand’, in this instance, is what I thought a friend of mine called cocaine when he was on the phone, and it summed-up the getting ‘on it’ even when you were broke on the dole. Turns out I was completely wrong however, ‘sand’ was his toe-rag code for ‘cash’, but it’s interchangeable with regard to the rest of the lyrics, so it stayed, and it’s a good title too!

Ambitions? What’s next for the band? The making of the album?

Bryn : As a band we’d like to be able to make a living out of this….when me and Paul got together the plan was that it was self funding , and so far we have been able to keep to that, we have been able to fund the album through gigs . Of course we’d like to be a successful recording band touring the world but we are realists and will enjoy it while it lasts.

The album has taken 3 years and several line up changes to get to a position of recording our debut. This album is mostly a collection of songs written by Paul over the years that we’ve taken from being acoustic open mic songs that he would perform on his own , to them being full band multi-layered songs with honest lyrics about our everyday lives….I think that’s a very big part of the songs , that they are honest and raw, emotions laid bare for all to see….songs about one night stands , drinking too much, nights out on the town, broken dreams and life being unemployed.

Paul : All the lads in the Sweepers do ‘normal’ work, and I know for one that I’d be lying if I said I was happy at my age grafting my bollocks off emptying bins! It would be paradise to actually be able to jack the day job and be able to sit in my flat writing new material, but I’m a realist, and getting picked-up by a major record label isn’t something that generally happens to middle-aged men from market towns in south west Scotland. Nah, we just wanna build on our first album, keep getting gigs, and write the follow-up for ‘States of Mind’. Not too tall an order in all honesty, we’re just taking it one step at a time and keeping it realistic.

MS Dumfries
Photograph – Brad Cain

‘States of Mind’ is basically a collection of older material, all songs written by myself, except ‘Threesome’, which was written in 20 minutes at rehearsals by myself, John, and Bryn, hence why it’s called ‘Threesome’. Obviously we’re hoping it’s well-received, because that would give us the impetus to do another, but we’re all fully aware that ‘making it’ in the music business is as much about luck as it is artistic ability. We’ll see how it goes, and hope for the best. We’ve got a good producer, we’ve got a good band, we’ve got a cracking wee label to put it out on, and we’re all good mates. It’s a good mix, and there’s no reason we can’t keep at it.

John :  To write new material and record it. Keep on having fun and enjoy it.

Recording the album was a fantastic experience. Great fun working and recording with Hughie in a very chilled out relaxed environment

Mind Sweepers SOM Cover

The Mind Sweepers to release debut album “States of Mind”

We are pleased to announce the release of the debut album from The Mind Sweepers. Entitled “States of Mind” it will be released on March 2nd.  Recorded and produced at Unit 7 studio Bladnoch , Wigtown , Dumfries and Galloway, the album features ten tracks including a revised version of the groups debut single “The Mating Game”.

The line-up of the band for this release is…

Paul Winter – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
John Mcinally- Guitar and Backing Vocals
Mark Jardine – Bass and Backing Vocals.
Bryn Thorburn – Drums.

…and there are guest appearances from Owen Fielding on keyboards, Win Liv Shak on keyboards and backing vocals, and Al Price on harmonica.

Here is the lead track from the album “Threesome”

Watch this space for more news

Mind Sweepers SOM Cover

 

Salutation Day

Vicky and Mick Middles put together an excellent showcase of music at The Salutation in Manchester and it was all captured by Rick Sarko in this film. It features Aidan Cross, Johann Kloos , Hamsters, Taser Puppets, and The Mind Sweepers…….

Welcome to The Mind Sweepers

We are pleased to announce we will be working with Dumfries based band The Mind Sweepers. Describing themselves as “Genre Defying” the band comprises Paul Winter (vocals/rhythm guitar/lyrics) John Mcinally (Lead Guitar) Jack Trainer (bass/harmonica) Gareth Mcintyre (keyboards/piano, bass), and,  Bryn Thorburn (drums/percussion/photography).

Here’s a taster of what to expect:

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