Album Review: UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS Mind Control
Soak in the cover artwork long enough and you already have a pretty solid understanding of what this record is; a hazy trip through acid-soaked lands in a genuinely cheesy way that just works so well. In short, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats accomplished that retro drug trip feel on Mind Control better than I've ever heard.
Just getting through the first two tracks, "Mt. Abraxis" and "Mind Crawler," is a journey in and of themselves. The stylistic grounds those two songs cover ranges from straight forward rock and roll, to a countrified-type of Led Zeppelin, to downright stoner rock that the masses have come to know and love. That's how Mind Control goes, though: a whole shit ton of styles jam-packed in an album that just work well together. On the stranger side of things are "Desert Ceremony," which is just a droning 6-minute song that really evokes the dry imagery of the desert and all the psychedelics it's meant to owe itself to, "Death Valley Blues," which I can't even properly explain aside from creepy and catchy simultaneously, and "Devil's Work," which just crushes you.
Outside of the writing on the album, the production takes a really interesting turn to the retro in that it's quiet and dynamic, but extremely claustrophobic; the mixes leaves zero room for any room to breathe and concentrates all the sounds into one ball of distorted energy. That might not work well as a technique for getting a lot of band's sounds across, but Uncle Acid's music would sound strange any other way but that. The multiple layers of vocals take up a huge amount of room, and whatever else fits in there will. Think of it like you're listening to the dudes next door jam out an entire record through a thin wall that's just thin enough for you to have a really good idea of what's going on. It's kind of that like.
The bottom line is that Mind Control isn't for everyone. If you're not looking for this kind of music, you're going to hate everything about it, but if you're keeping an open mind about things, Mind Control is easily one of the best records you'll hear all year. It's unique, it's catchy, and it's well written. What else could you want?