A Torn Mind


Written by: TL on 24/07/2010 20:39:35

Having gotten aquainted with more and more Scottish bands lately, I've become more and more assured that it is impossible for Scottish bands to suck, and hence I've happily signed up to review them whenever they appeared in the Rockfreaks.net promo pile. Case in point: Enter A Torn Mind, four guys from Livingston, Scotland, who have recently released their debút record "Barriers".

First of all, A Torn Mind call "Barriers" an EP, but since the five tracks on offer clock in at a combined forty minutes of playing time, the wikipedia definition would suggest that we are dealing with an LP. Regardless, with so many minutes distributed over so few songs, you probably won't be surprised to learn that A Torn Mind play a brand of prog-rock inspired by the greats, and though I am hardly an expert in that field, I'm still fairly confident in venturing a guess as to bands such as Pink Floyd and Rush lurking among ATM's influences.

"Barriers" is a self-produced record, and this fact unfortunately makes itself all too evident when you listen to it. As with many such records regardless of genre, the production is average at best, and the same goes for the vocal work. This is problematic when you're a prog band who seemingly want to convince people that you can write and perform so well that three-minute songs simply aren't long enough for you, because even while all instruments are nice and clear in the mix, the production fails to highlight the individual sounds at the relevant moments. Hence, it becomes the job of the listener to pay close attention, if he or she wants to appreciate the intricacies of the compositions on offer. The mentioned vocals aren't helping either, seeing as they may hit notes fairly enough, but still mostly sound flat and completely without character and emotion.

The band themselves claim on their myspace, to 'fashion a brand of modern progressive rock' and to have 'a contemporary melodic sound', yet frankly, save for the occasional addition of saxophone to the soundscape, I fail to recognize where ATM bring something to the table that their influences haven't been presenting for years. All things considered, I'm finding myself getting easily impatient with the band, and I'm afraid "Barriers" have already floated past me a handful of times, leaving little in terms of a memorable impression. It's obvious that the musicians here have more to offer than four-chorded riffage and easy hooks, but in playing prog, they have also set themselves up to be measured by bands in a whole different ball game, and it is my opinion that they need to improve considerably at least in terms of vocals and production, if they hope to unlock their potential and make a name for themselves.


Download: Titans, Impurity
For The Fans Of: Rush, Pink Floyd,
Listen: myspace.com/atornmindband

Release Date 01.03.2010

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