Soundmind – Bannerman’s Edinburgh 13/11/2022

Soundmind, Bannerman’s Edinburgh 13/11/2022


Edinburgh based genre blending rock trio Soundmind are rapidly making their mark – having spent most of last summer working on new music following a run of Scotland based shows they are dangerously close to completion of their upcoming EP and a good way into their album also. Fairly new to the live music scene, the band feature Ru on guitar/vocals, Esje on bass and Myles on drums.   For a three piece they certainly know how to make a lot of noise; their quirky, intense undercurrent and dark passion sets them far apart from the current saturated market of ‘classic’ rock musicians.   Best described as grunge orientated with elements of punk, doom and stoner metal, these guys are clearly not afraid of taking a few risks to showcase their collective aptitude, and it works brilliantly.

A duality of basement badass and melodic instrumentalists, Soundmind combine complex arrangements with banging riffs and poignant lyrics and carry a cheerful and intriguing stage presence. Stripped to the waist (apart from Esje since she’s a lady), sweaty and as raw as it gets, enthusiasm pours out of these three like floodwaters as they attack every song with aggressive devotion. I have rarely seen a band look so happy to be onstage doing what they do. There is constant chat with the (equally happy) audience, the band giggle and eyeroll their way through apparent ‘mishaps’ that no one would notice; even when there’s an obvious one Ru simply laughs and styles it out perfectly, using the frontman – audience relationship entirely to his advantage.   Despite sounding refined and tight in their playing, Soundmind come across as refreshingly unpolished and organic, very down to earth and a lot of fun.

When it comes to the performance of the actual songs however, the seriousness kicks right in; they are focused, acute and give it everything they have. They start their set with ‘Noxii’, giving us an insight into the anticipated album and demonstrating to their fans and followers that they have a lot to look forward to when this new offering takes shape. Before we can recover from that, a track from the upcoming EP ‘Firebug’ follows on, and then a stirring of recognition pulses through the crowd as the drums and opening chords of ‘Ecdysone’ fire up, this track of course featuring on the EP and having been released as a single. ‘This is a song about sex!’ Ru delightedly announces, and we get treated to the more punk side of the band with crashing chords at odds with the relatively mellow vocals. There is so much going on in this track and the crowd cannot get enough of it.

Following up from this eruptive bash we get another three new songs – ‘Trisk’ ‘Defibriltor’ and ‘Honeybadger’ – as cryptic and curious as their titles suggest. The latter two will be album tracks, and (spoiler alert) the music video for ‘Trisk’ is currently in production and could possibly be the next single from the EP. After another short interlude of very entertaining banter the band suddenly switch into serious mode again as they launch into these three songs, upping the energy levels and exuding glaring intensity – it’s quite fascinating to witness this capricious, mercurial change in persona.  It digs you in the ribs to remind you that actually, this is not a band to be taken lightly.

To finish this relatively short but arresting set is the emotionally charged ‘Shoot’ – I’d consider this to be the band’s showpiece – and it appears to be the track everyone’s been waiting for. The heaviest of heavy basslines, skilled modulation and arrangement, absorbing lyrics sung with a tinge of heartbreak, riffs versus melodies, pure grunge guitar and moody ambience giving way to a chorus of passion and rage. It blows me away to be perfectly frank.

If you ever get to catch a Soundmind show expect a bit of a rollercoaster ride that will draw you all the way in and spit you right back out again with a duly tingling spine. There’s no one quite like them. As I catch up with Esje at the bar afterwards I have to make enquiries – and they have no plans to slow down. For a relatively new band they are generating a lot of local interest, and Ru’s songwriting ability and talents are running at full throttle. Mixed with the natural creativity and alternative influences all three of the band possess in abundance it adheres and generates a perfect storm. Here’s hoping the EP and album are on the way real soon as we need to be hearing a lot more from this unconventional, distinctive and imaginative threesome.

Victoria Llewelyn 2022


Soundmind links:
Band/Artist location – Edinburgh Scotland
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