There are lot of acts out around at the moment (in fact, always) that pay direct homage to 1960’s jangle-pop or more specifically The Byrds. Some of it is superb. However, much tends to be somewhat generic primarily due to sheer volume, rather than any musical malcontent.
Swedish four piece, Mind Motel are somewhat different. Such disparation is not just because Swedish janglers tend to concentrate on all things crystalline in their 12 string sound but also because they swerve all things mid 60’s and step back just a couple of years to the early 60’s to mine the nuggets of the surf-psyche rock era.
As such Visions is at it’s best when it grumbles. mumbles and sweats amid reverb drenched, chunky bass-lines and all manner of psych addled surfy riffs. Tracks such as the album’s true stand out of 1966 (see below), Elevation and Steady as she Goes make no obvious apologies for being all things The Ventures, The Centurions and The Eliminators and nor should they, because they do it so well.
Of course they can bow to some sort of convention and as such those of us who become listless when a McGuinn riff is not heard for a while, are accomodated for in the jangled guitar work heard of The Boy Who Played Tambourine, Early Morning and the superlative title track (see below).
Such tracks are just somehow surrounded with seamless perfection by a denser and way more atmospheric aesthetic in the hands of Mind Motel in comparison to the sheer prettiness of Byrdsian jangle. It is their personal seal and a veritable addition rather merely a display of ‘influence adulation’.
It may have taken me nearly 18 months to be attuned to this album but in a very short time it has somewhat restored my faith that jangle-pop music of the 1960’s does not have tobecome a pastiche of it’s very self in 2010’s.