Somebody‘s Mind - The British Voodoo
Miss Fliss 16/10/2008
There's eclecticism, and there's confusion, and then there's mess. I'm not sure what Somebody's Mind are trying to do here. Opener Underneath the Floorboard is a frightening vocal holler in 70s metal vogue - a cross between the shock-rock glam of Alice Cooper, and the blustersome rock of Black Sabbath. A male singer manages to scream with a witchy old hag voice of warning: 'Underneath the floorboard, baby! Yeah!'. Second track, Dark Side of Love is an indie pop gem with polar opposite cheerfulness and a sense of fun. More charm and hummable affableness like this and we'd be won over for sure.
The album, however, takes us on a cryptically bizarre journey with no rest to ponder what just happened in the last song. Since they're called Somebody's Mind, I'm assuming we're meant to conclude that these wild mood sways are the point of it all.
In between the best track and the final track, your reviewer encounters: a big sound swirl waffling on about suicide being 'beautiful', plenty of shiny 70s hippie guitars that conjure up a Who fan's Glastonbury drug trip, the odd dull rock 'n' roll wig out, some frankly terrible metaphors ('She wants to go upstairs/she wants to climb the ladder'), stuff about ghosts padding around, winding high-pitch vocal ballads, and mutterings about God.
Closer Thailand is a 70s rock stomper that could have featured in rock flick Almost Famous, with a refrain that goes 'Don't go to Thailand/Don't go to Thailand', before imploring further with the words 'Don't do it! Don't do it!'. Perhaps it's about Gary Glitter.
I'm afraid I have to conclude that it's the singer that makes things jar unpleasantly. It's all rather whiny. And if we're talking in simple terms, well, the music goes on a bit. Some moments rock out nicely but then they give way to whining, and generally lose it, musically. The one star track is an indie pop number, whereas much of the rest wants to be setting up as support to the early Judas Priest, who - believe it or not - started off as a meandering-about-the-gaff, twinkling slow-mo hippie guitar band. And the only word for that is terrible.
I didn't open the CD sleeve until I'd heard the album out, but the band are pictured kitted out in winkle picker boots (ask yer mum), cordurouy trousers, mac coats, and flowing open blouses. Someone needs to tell Somebody's Mind that the year is 2008, and fast. The band might also want to have a think about their name, because for the whole of this review I was convinced they were called The British Voodoo, and that the album was called 'Somebody's Mind', which makes more sense.