Spotless Mind mix up style on new release

   Self proclaimed “eclectic punk” band, Spotless Mind, broke onto the Tulsa scene in 2018 with their self-titled debut EP.  Less than a year later, the band has come back with their second EP, “A Matter Of Opinion.”

   This release finds the band shifting away from the soundscape of their debut. Originally boasting a more traditional punk sound,  “A Matter Of Opinion” is softer and more subdued. From an acoustic track to a song that resembles Blink-182, there is a less intensity found here. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but a point that will remain important throughout this review.

   One initial stand-out feature comes in the bass work. Many songs here are driven by the instruments, as it frequently sets the main hook. Tonally, the bass is soft and muted, which often compliments the more fuzzed out guitar sound. This allows for an interesting juxtaposition between the two sounds, creating an engaging listen. Couple this with drums that are fun and full of life, and instrumentally, this EP shines.

   Standing far above the rest of the EP, “Peachy” is sardonic track that discusses the meaning of being a man, and the uncertainty of life. A distorted guitar takes the ultimate lead, shredding through riffs and solos. This song captures angst and confusion in a swift three minutes and can bring a good chuckle with some of the lyrical wit displayed.

   Another standout is “Tripped And Fell.” This is an incredibly catchy number where each band member is firing on all cylinders.  Starting strong with an excellent guitar lick, the track builds tension through the verses until a euphoric chorus releases all tension with an anthemic sing-along.

   While the album has a lot of solid moments, an unfortunate gripe must be had with the aforementioned shift in sound. While the actual shift is not inherently bad, the new approach leaves the vocals confused. On the self-titled EP, the harsher sound was complimented with a grittier vocal delivery. With this softer sound, a more melodic approach is necessary. Unfortunately, this is not always a well suited shift.

   Most tracks do not suffer from this issue, as all but one do not seem too bogged down. The one track that does take a hit is “Happy Sunshine.” The chorus falls flat, with not enough vocal energy being pumped through it.

   As a whole, this project is good. While the shift away from a more distorted sound does not always work, many interesting production and lyrical choices keep the EP’s head above water. Everything here is just “peachy.”

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