For Fans Of
Progressive rock is in an interesting place at the moment.
You have bands like The Contortionist and A Lot Like Birds carrying the torch high and loud, but you also have a worryingly large number of bands without any real stake in the tapestry of this once innovative genre. For me, I The Mighty have always sat somewhere in between being important to the prog genre and existing just below the horizon of mediocrity, but on ‘Where The Mind Wants To Go/Where You Let It Go‘ they make a strong case to cement themselves further towards the pointy end. ‘Where The Mind Wants To Go…‘ is I The Mighty’s most straight-forward record to date, and borrows a lot from the post-hardcore realms; a notion that has the potential to turn the casual listener away, but I actually really enjoyed hearing these newer flavours creep in. Like on the infectious chorus for ‘Pet Names‘, for example.
This also means that there is a lot less exciting, mind-melting guitar playing heard on this record; the focus has shifted to sticky melodies and accompanying harmonic structures. Occasionally a riff will poke its spiky head right out of the cohesive melodies and choruses, like in the beginning of ‘Symphony of Skin‘, but for the most part, the guitars serve to highlight and point towards the vocal performance, which takes front and centre.
Vocalist Brent Walsh takes the spotlight for the entirety of the album’s runtime, claiming sole responsibility for the soaring choruses, intimate verses and vivid, narrative-invoking lyrics. There is a sense of calm that never descends into lethargy in his performance, something that bleeds into the rest of the album and lends it an air of breezy confidence. Lyrically there is more than enough there to warrant extra listens to delve into the narrative, but it does fall behind the detail and incredible world building of bands like Coheed & Cambria or A Lot Like Birds, and this band’s conceptual rabbit hole doesn’t run nearly as deep as say, the most recent Silent Planet album (which you need to go listen to right now if you haven’t already).
Personally, I actually found myself enjoying this album a lot more after the first listen, once I had grown accustomed to what I was actually listening to; not what I was first expecting. This is very much a common man’s Coheed & Cambria and aims for simplicity and catchy, singable songs with euphoric choruses over wanking with guitars and introverted beard stroking. And I am more than okay with that, truly. But did I find myself wanting to come back to it feverishly the next day? No.
In retrospect, I honestly don’t know why I was expecting what I was expecting, but I The Mighty have nailed something that not a whole lot of bands are aiming for at the moment. Now, that’s not to say they are totally rewriting any of the rulebooks, pushing the envelope, or completing any of the other euphemisms normally used in this context – ‘Where The Mind Wants To Go/Where You Let It Go’ is relatively safe, but not stagnantly so. This record is definitely worth a listen, if only for that juicy-as-hell ‘Pet Names’ chorus.
Chaos In Motion
Where The Mind Wants To Go
Symphony of Skin
The Sound of Breathing
Where You Let It Go
‘Where The Mind Wants To Go/Where You Let It Go’ is out now. Stream it below: