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Hockey - Mind Chaos

Hockey, Mind Chaos

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE new album from hotly-tipped Portland quartet Mind Chaos is nothing if not diverse. It’s sometimes good, sometimes fair but seldom bad. And it goes some way to justifying the hot vibe coming off them.

Fronted by Benjamin Grubin, the band like to mix up their music and pay lip service to the innumerable influences that helped get them where they are today.

And while this means it’s difficult to quite put your finger on who Hockey are as a band, it keeps the listener on his toes.

Mind Chaos is equal parts indie-pop workout, country-influenced rock and post-Strokesian, post-Razorlight indie rock.

Its highlights include the well-recognised former singles. Too Fake kicks off proceedings with an energetic synth-heavy slice of pop-rock that belongs firmly on the dancefloor. It’s super-charged chorus is delivered in supremely husky style by Grubin and it whets the appetite perfectly.

While another former single, Learn To Lose is a soulful, funky jam that tips its hat to Talking Heads, with a touch of Razorlight. It’s great fun.

Work delivers an anthem in waiting for anyone who feels they put too many hours in at the office… its sing-along chorus bemoaning the 9 to 5 and more in catchy fashion, while Grubin drops the husky Julian Cassablanca-style vocals for something more approaching a falsetto during the verses.

Another highlight is the similarly sing-along Song Away, which has a retro Cars-esque vibe that’s impossible not to tap your toes too, while Everyone’s The Same Age drops the tempo and showcases a more thoughtful side to the band’s make-up that’s equally as appealing.

Not everything about Mind Chaos hits the same heights, however. Tracks like 3am Spanish and Curse This City are a little too generic and exist in easy to identify post-punk territory. They sound very American.

And journeys into country (Four Holy Photos) and the more bizarre (Preacher) take a lot of getting used to… sounding almost as though they belong on a different album, with a different band.

But in the main, Hockey have delivereda good time album that’s well worth taking the time to discover. Their diversity, too, is well worth embracing… as it’s fair to say you won’t be able to predict anything this band will do!

Download picks: Too Fake, Song Away< Work, Learn To Lose, Everyone’s The Same Age

Track listing:

  1. Too Fake
  2. 3am Spanish
  3. Learn to Lose
  4. Work
  5. Song Away
  6. Curse This City
  7. Wanna Be Black
  8. Four Holy Photos
  9. Preacher
  10. Put the Game Down
  11. Everyone’s The Same