Know Your Product: We Read Minds, self-titled EP (self-released)
It’s been interesting to watch the slow rise of We Read Minds. Like it or not, Baltimore can often be a town where if you’re friends with the right people, it can be maybe a little easy to get on a good–or at least “hip”–bill. Regardless, We Read Minds has advanced steadily from some seriously crummy local-stew bookings to a somewhat regular at the middle-tier rock clubs around town (at least to these eyes). The four piece band, birthed sometime around the winter of ’07–created a MySpace page then, anyhow–has just now got around to releasing music, a quick, immaculately recorded two-song EP of smart, updated alt-rock. So, yes, that would be the bad news–this does fall under the alt/modern-rock umbrella, sinking at points into a the sort of metal lite we’ve been hearing on the radio since grunge passed. At the same time, the songs carry the marks of a post-OK Computer rearing: long, emotive vocal passages linger and stretch like red wine flavored taffy. Both songs follow a similar pattern on the EP–a pattern also taking sly cues from big-league instrumental post-rock–with “The Difference” being the weaker of the two, overusing dated dramatic tricks like angry, brief alt-metal guitar scuffs and a sort of a bland, soundtrack-y synth. The execution is immaculate, but it’s a tad predictable. “Colours,” however, is a lovely, exceedingly deliberate number heavy on open space and light on dirge, carrying its weight in lonesome, sorrowful lyrics (delivered well by Justin Gilman’s burnished vocals) and piano-filled arrangements that travel from spare to full in natural, sweeping waves that break at just the song’s oddest, most vulnerable moments. It’s effecting and points toward a solid direction for this band.
We Read Minds plays March 6 at the Ottobar.