By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY – There’s a justifiable fear induced by the news of a brand new band that features members of acts that are or were face meltingly excellent. Enter Mind Mold.
Featuring members of WAKE, I Die Screaming, and Seminary, the trio is Calgary’s newest sludge project. Helmed by guitarist Rob LaChance, drummer/vocalist Ryan Kennedy, and bassist/vocalist Will Bjorndahl, the band integrated something unlikely and wonderfully different into their tunes: a grinding, noise-oriented harshness that steers their music into bizarre and unnerving territory. It’s an excellent juxtaposition of genres that coalesces to fantastic effect on their self-titled debut, released on April 28 via Sentient Ruin.
Reminiscent of now defunct eastern Canadian act Buried Inside combined with the relentless harshness of American act Primitive Man (PM), the album is a group effort that triggers connections to its creators past bands. The Primitive Man connection is particularly salient, given that LaChance toured with the band in his grind act WAKE.
“I suppose there are small similarities between Mind Mold and PM but honestly I don’t really think that we’re doing anything THAT similar, I suppose we both play slower music but to me it’s in vastly different styles,” clarifies LaChance.
“But that being said, I’d be lying if I said that touring with PM didn’t steer me towards playing slower riffs/music: those dudes crush and are great friends.”
With cold, eerie production, the unsettling atmosphere is reminiscent of releases done by Calgary’s own Eschaton Industries, a label helmed by Cowpuncher’s Jordan Lane in the late 2000s.
“I started that label with him,” explains Kennedy. The label has previously released albums by Cold Craving, Holzkopf, and a split with Putrescence and I Die Screaming.
“We also played in a band together called I Die Screaming. It was cold, and eerie, certainly,” he says.
“The production [on Mind Mold] is probably about as eerie but less cold. It’s a sliding scale.”
Lyrically, the themes are cerebral.
“The recording mostly focuses on the sanctity of the human mind in various forms,” they explain.
For example, “Viceregal Inhumation” focuses on how “words become something different once enacted, and how our minds form them rarely resembles their ramifications.”
The combination of all of the above factors results in an album that is sonically and intellectually intriguing, and worthy of repeated listens.
Mind Mold released their self-titled EP on cassette April 28 through Sentient Ruin Laboratories; you can order online at https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/mind-mold. The band will be performing live this summer.Mind Mold, Sentient Ruin Laboratories