Until Mindset Evolution’s website pointed it out to us, we had no idea that Peoria, Illinois was the starting point for the bands Mudvayne and REO Speed Wagon. While they’re from vastly different rock genres and time frames, starting from the humble beginnings of a smaller market like Peoria is no small feat. Mindset Evolution is working hard to be the next big name to find their way out of town and their hoping the ticket out is their debut album “Taking Back Today”.
Mindset Evolution was the product of what started out as an acoustic project by lead singer Rob Ulrich and bassist Josh Bodeen. After some collaboration between the two, there was little doubt that they had hit on something special. They sought the talents of drummer Josh Blue and guitarist Brad Prentice to round out the full line up for the band. With their edgy, bass heavy, hard rock sound, Mindset Evolution began writing and rehearsing the tracks for “Taking Back Today” in an abandoned warehouse in Peoria. In just three months, they took their creation into the studio.
“Taking Back Today” is a fast paced, in your face hard rock album with a few slower tracks slipped in. There is no shortage of driving bass lines and fast, aggressive guitar riffs. Mindset Evolution does just that throughout the entire album, evolve. No two songs are cookie cutter and they experiment with several different sounds and effects throughout the album. Each song brings its own fresh personality that is well done and keeps within the overall tone of the album.
The tempo on “Taking Back Today” starts out in high gear with a great drum intro by Josh Blue on “Wait Steady”. As Ulrich calls out the lyrics “Steady, Ready, Set, Go”, Mindset Evolution is already at full tempo across the board. The lyrics and speed make this an excellent opening track that is packed with enough energy to carry right into the second track “Naked Truth”, which also has a similarly quick and aggressive sound.
"Not So Simple” starts slow and has a unique sound thanks to the use of some vocal effects, similar to what is all the rage in the hip hop world. The effects are subtle yet well placed, which keeps them from becoming too gimmicky. As the speed of the song builds, so does the speed of Ulrich’s lyrics, which are delivered fast and clean. They use a similar formula on the song “Drowning in Make Believe”. It works well, so why not? The band officially slows things all the way down on the ballad “Soapbox Jester”. A piano accompaniment gives the song a far different tone than anything else on the album. “Soapbox Jester” picks up the pace for just a few bars so that Mindset Evolution can get in an excellent guitar solo. It’s short and sweet which helped it earn our newest ‘must listen’ pick on Rocksposure Radio.
Josh Bodeen’s heavy bassline puts the band back into hard rock mode on “The Calling” and “The Victim”. The latter has some great guitar riffs to compliment Bodeen’s bass with a little bit of acoustic guitar for flavor (listen close, you’ll hear it!). Then comes the curve ball, both “Foot Prints” and “I’m Not Anything” contain some electronic beats and mixing that when coupled with Bodeen’s heavy bass slapping reminded me immediately of Stabbing Westward. It’s a very aggressive sound and very different from the other songs on the album, but it still fits in with everything you just listened to. As different as it is, it should stick out like a sore thumb, but Mindset Evolution does a great job keeping it relevant to everything else on the disc.
If you are looking for something that keeps you intrigued from start to finish, the eleven tracks on “Taking Back Today” are your answer. Putting this many different sounds into one album is a challenging thing to do without it sounding like a mix tape.But, when you come from the hometown that churned out both ends of the rock spectrum with REO and Mudvayne, it just might be your ticket to the big time .
Hear a few tracks off of Mindset Evolution's album "Taking Back Today" by clicking here
As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com