Mind Spiders original brain-main, Mark Ryan, has been concocting tunes out of his Denton, TX, base for about a decade, first and most notably with the Marked Men, a great supersonic power pop band. That band has splintered off and in between other regional acts, not unlike most of the action-packed Denton garage-punk scene in general. So around 2010, when Ryan felt like expanding this sci-fi leaning solo project for some live gigs, he nicked from locals Bad Sports (who also have a great new album just out), High Tension Wires, and probably some guy who happened to be at the bar one night. Only after the second Mind Spiders LP, Meltdown (Dirtnap, 2012), suddenly the band got tighter, and their synth-stabbed buzz-punk feels more immediate. So it looks like it’s Ryan’s thing now, and the thing is getting leaner and meaner on Inhumanistic.
Having long erased the sheen of guy-in-his-basement laptop insularity of the first album, Mind Spiders sound more like a muscular band than ever, even though there are more electronic drums on this one—nice trick there. And it’s all still catchy as hell, something that seems to be wired into Ryan’s arachnid noggin.
On rippers like They Lie, Electric Things and Inside You, the metered marching drive of the band makes (major influence) Devo look like an improv act. But if Mind Spiders loosey-goosey’d it up a bit, well they might just sound like the Marked Men. And Ryan wants to, in the words of those Akron spud boys, “Go forward, move ahead!” And so they have. They’re also capable of making the electro-buzz get dreamy (City Stuff, Oblivion) and/or romantic (You are Mine). And Ryan can tweak his robot-bellow with a Marc Bolan pinch, especially evident on I Want You. This is the future pop we thought we’d get in 2013 when it was 1978.