Music Reviews


Mind Over Mind

Ultimatum Music

I was at this festival concert a handful of years ago, with this girl I was seeing at the time. I can look back now and, in retrospect, admit that she wasn’t exactly the best choice in female companionship for me (as I pick my words about her carefully, to remain civil). But hey, we all make stupid choices in the name of blind puppy love, right? So at this festival, which consisted of the reigning radio-bands of that time (Our Lady Peace, Everclear, Foo Fighters, etc.), there was the typical, smaller, second stage for the one-hit wonders of the summer, and other lesser-known cats. I recall the Suicide Machines meaning to play early on in the day, but having to cancel. In their place, a band no one knew of by the name of 6gig played a quick set to quell the mini-crowd. To be honest, the performance wasn’t anything memorable, instead meshing indistinctively with the sound of every other band on the second stage that day, however many years ago.

No, what’s worth talking about here was that girl I was with. After 6gig finished their set, she saw someone in the band off to the side, and told me to hang out for a minute while she went over to try and meet them. That was around 1:00 pm, and that ‘minute’ I was waiting for ended up lasting till about 7:00 pm, when I finally saw her again (complete with arm around some random guy she seemed to have ditched me to pick up during her little band-meeting excursion). Does this have anything to do with my review of 6gig’s new album, Mind Over Mind? No – seeing a new album by these folks (whom I vaguely remember) just reminded me of that event with that girl. What’s my point then?

Man, she was a bitch.

I will say my lingering impression of 6gig from that day is still rather spot on with my current opinion of Mind Over Mind. It still all sounds just like everything else playing around it; just like every other predictable power-chord-happy bunch permeating the airwaves these days. Whether or not this is their intention can only be answered by the band, but rest assured that this Portland, Maine quartet is bringing nothing to your stereo that you haven’t already heard (too much) on your own local top 40s alternative-rock radio station.

It really is disheartening. I listen as I write, searching this album for some nugget of musical proficiency worth grabbing on to, but it’s the same half-distorted power chords, coupled with lyrics that sound like they were taken off the back of some moody high school student’s notebook, lacking any kind of real emotional meaning. What’s so disheartening is that these are the reasons I remember getting fed up with mainstream radio music offerings in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not your stereotypical ‘hate all mainstream/love all obscure’ elitist – I’m just a guy who likes good music. While I’ll be the first to say there’s some great major label music out there, 6gig reminds me that just because someone isn’t slaving to Clear Channel or boardroom executives, doesn’t mean their music doesn’t still sound like it.

Not to turn a simple album review into an issue of obscurity vs. fame. 6gig and Mind Over Mind just sounds like what you’d expect to hear from any generic, formulaic, top 40s radio rock band, without having all that pesky fame money to accompany the lifeless music.

Which is what it all comes down to – that Mind Over Mind is an album that could have been made by any other band. I wouldn’t have blinked twice if I was told this was an album of material by Nickelback, TRUSTcompany, Puddle Of Mudd, Disturbed, or Injected; or that 6gig’s first single off the album, “Whose Side Are You On?,” was a new track by Trapt, Staind, Saliva, Cold, or any more of that ilk.

If that list of bands is making your loins tingle in musical anticipation, this might be the album for you. Yes, 6gig and Mind Over Mind are a wonderful touch of that late ’90s trend of Eddie Veder influenced backwash, delivered conveniently here to the 21st century, complete with a bland, formulaic sound that’s still five years too late for my tired ears.

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