Caught in the rat race

Bristol's Mind Museum, a band that have been together just under 9 months, showcase their sound on debut EP 'Rat Race', which feels like a band still finding their feet, their cohesion and their chemistry. That's not to say that there isn't potential within the band as none of the songs appear to suffer from their relative handicap of being a new band. The lead track, the eponymous 'Rat Race' certainly recalls the words of its namesake, the song of the same name recorded by The Specials in the early 1980s, as it explores the nature of maturity, finding a job and an identity in the modern world. Whilst not as cynical as The Specials, Mind Museum definitely have a spark and a penchant for crafting catchy and anthemic songs using tried-and-tested formulas. The music they play almost certainly has its roots in the punk movement of not only the 70s but its subsequent scenes in the 80s and 90s. The group's brand of melodic and harmonic music and a strong and focused rhythm section pays dividend for them.

'The Secret of Happiness' is probably the album's most crucial track as it reveals the more experimental side to the band than the formulaic structuring of the other songs. Will Slater's guitar illuminates all with its raucous and raw sound that injects power and soul into each track and with future honing will certainly be a highly-regarded element of the band. A negative point though could be the vocal stylings of Justin E Percival, whose screechy and occasionally whiny delivery can begin to grate on the ears after a while, but this is all part of the band's development and could be improved as they progress.

Overall, not a bad debut EP from a band that are sure to be a big hit on the festival circuit this summer. The powerful dynamic of the band lies in their unmistakable power on their instruments but one can sense that a more cohesive chemistry and passion first needs to be formed to ensure that their songs can be as incendiary and passion-filled as they can be. I look forward to the next instalment.