Fluid Minds
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Fluid Minds

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The afternoon DJ, Fook, on Chicago's major alternative radio station Q101 had this to say about Fluid Minds

"Fluid Minds have a very LARGE sound for a three piece. For a young band, FM’s members know their instruments well and have polished production. A band to watch develop" - Fook - Q101


Every once in awhile, an individual artist or band of talented musicians come along and change the pace for what may be the mainstream for music at the time. Some become the forefathers of a certain style of music and become legendary; Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Bee Gee’s, Metallica and Nirvana just to name a few. Although Fluid Minds aren’t legendary…yet, they do have a style of their own that could catch fire and become the band to follow for the next several years.

For those of you who are familiar with the popular late night television show Adult swim, you may not be aware of it, but in all probability, you have heard some Fluid Minds music. This particular TV show has what are called “bumps”, in which musical clips are run. These “bumps” feature several of the groups demos. For those wanting a taste of this intricate ear-candy, you can go to CDBABY.com to get yourself a copy of the latest album, or their first c.d., Love in Analog which also comes highly recommended by yours truly or just check them out www.fluidmindsmusic.com for a free live album download.

The driving force behind this Midwest magical trio is John Gray. Although he and his counterpart Frank Clayton had been jamming together for many years prior, the band didn’t come together officially until May of 2005 when Boston native Christian Rogala completed what would become the missing link in the Fluid Minds machine…a very well oiled machine I might add. When I first heard the as mixtape, I tried to put my finger on exactly what I was listening to. Was it rap, jazz or funk? Was it a combination of all three, or was it something from another world in a distant galaxy? I wasn’t exactly sure, so I listened to it some more, and what I did figure out is that it was like nothing else that I had heard before. It is very mystical and yes, very “fluid” as well. I went into some form of musical transcendental meditation, if you will, as one song went into the next.

1. Edge Of The Sky – I particularly love the combination of musical styles in this track. There is a soft-core rap element here that mixes with a hypnotizing chorus that seems to bring the use of various instruments towards the pinnacle of their intended use. So far, I’m very impressed and my mind is already at ease…I’ve found my comfort zone.

2. Thank You – This one is definitely different than the first, with more of a “club-vibe” to it. It is more upbeat and appears to have some live clips mixed in. However, the vocal style is still the same, which also takes the rap element and combines it with the softer contrasting vocals that give it a necessary balance to keep it from coming redundant.


3. The Owls – If you liked the last track, then this one will please you as well. My guess is that this was one of the Adult Swim “bumps” as the show title is mentioned in the lyrics. What I like about this cut is the use of bass guitar and percussion that takes us to the end of the song. It’s a creative way of integrating a diverse musical style with something that isn’t typical or predictable.

4. 1000 Symphonies – This one seems to grow, and becomes more powerful as the lyrics seduce you into becoming part of the song. The natural flow of the song let’s you drift through it’s entirety with ease, where at no time are you disturbed by anything harsh or abrupt.

5. See The Light – I love the beginning of this one. I suppose if I had to place a setting on this song, it might be for a love scene in a movie. The female vocals and repetitive chorus probably lend itself to that particular image in my head.

6. Trip Out – This one is an instrumental, but has the potential to be something more than that, almost as if you could plug in your own ideas and thoughts to form your own version of a mental image of what the lyrics might sound like. The techno-core vibe to this one is really creative, kind of like if you were to become a character in a strange video game or cartoon.

7. JB Kinda Thang – I guess this is the point in the album where it’s time to get the funk out! The bass guitar and horns really bring out the fun side of the band where it seems like they are having an impromptu jam session. Is this a tribute to James Brown, I’m not sure? What I do know is that this is a nice break and change of pace for the middle of the road in the c.d.

8. This Song Needs More Cowbell – An obvious spoof from the SNL episode of Will Farrell as the cowbell-playing stooge as a member of Blue Oyster Cult. This song is another instrumental that seems to focus on rhythmic horns, a subtle driving beat and a well-balanced percussion backed up with keyboards. I do agree with the songs title, as what is an instrumental without a cowbell?

9. Yeah Yeah Yeah – This is a very soft, relaxing song…something to get a massage to, perhaps. So I guess I’m questioning the song’s title, as I was expecting something much more exciting.

10. Shoop A Loop – I like the abstraction and bending of the notes on this one, which makes what should be a calming song into something which is almost surrealistic, kind of like a Salvadore Dali painting. However, the rhythmic qualities tie it together as something very calming through what may appear as dissonant.

11. Chitown Seasons – There are only two seasons in the Chicago land area; winter and road construction! However, I’m sure that this song doesn’t reflect either of those, as this song puts you in a different frame of mind that is the complete opposite of either of those harsh conditions. This song is like a journey to another planet in a low-rider. The somber qualities are what really make this one different than the others; I just wish it was a little longer.

12. Bucktown Breathes – The piano crescendo intro to this one is very impressive. It’s kind of like what could be a background score for a classic horror film.

13. Center Of Attention – This is part two of the last song, where the vocals then break the piano keys in half, yet continue into something different, almost as if you are ascending towards the sky. I particularly like the background distortions in this one as the song continues. Then it’s back to earth again, as the piano takes you to the enigmatic end.

14. Shadow – I really like the beat in this one which is matched by the vocals that follow very tightly to it. However, just as I’m getting into it, it ends abruptly.

15. All Our Favorite Shows – This one has a really fun and exciting feel to it, kind of like a throwback to some of the mainstream punk-rock songs from the early 1980’s. Adult Swim is also in the lyrics, which seems to reinforce that particular segment of the band’s popularity.



- Travis Jenson - Music Street Journal


Fluid Minds headlined an excellent bill in what was also the release party for their new CD “Love in Analog EP.” Sharing the bill at Elbo Room was Zack Hexum (brother of 311’s Nick Hexum).

Carefully drawing from a variety of influences, Fluid Minds brings listeners a sound that is all their own. On the band’s myspace page (www.myspace.com/fluidminds) they cite influences ranging anywhere from The Beatles to the Beastie Boys to Bjork… and even Portishead and the Deftones!

John Gray (vocals, guitar, piano, cello), Frank Clayton (bass, sax, clarinet, rhodes) and Christian Rogala (drums, organ, percussion, vocals) make up Fluid Minds. Fluid Minds seem to have mastered the D.I.Y. work ethic of any good band trying to find its place. You may have heard “Johnny B. Bad” from the new EP on Q101’s “Local 101” program. Three of the bands songs have also played on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim.” As if that wasn’t enough, four Fluid Minds originals will also air on September 1st during the show “Roadtrip Nation” on PBS.

But the live show… that’s why you’re here (I hope). Plain and simple: It Rocked. Live, more so than on record, I keep coming back to Sublime as an influence. Punk songs with a pop sensibility and a progressive backbone are not a bad thing at all. For my money, “Complicated” is the strongest song on the new EP and it held up well live. Cutting guitar riffs are up front and they’re good, (think early 311 but vocals in the vein of Thursday’s Geoff Rickly) but the underrated part of this song is Frank’s pulsing bass line which was excellent (And Frank looks genuinely excited to be performing live at all times. Seriously, the smile literally didn’t leave his face at any point during the set. This was refreshing). I hate to say that a highlight of anyone’s show was a cover. But Fluid Minds made Pink Floyd their own and that’s not easy to do.

Check out www.fluidmindsmusic.com and pick up the band’s new CD “Love in Analog EP” at Tower or Reckless Records (If for no other reason than to hear a punk band scream a song about… Mike Ditka?). Ditka had arguably one good season, but if Fluid Minds continue at their current pace, they could finish with a better record.
- Wassup Local / Article by Jim Ryan


Discography

"Love In Analog" EP
Available on CD BABY and iTunes

"The [AS] Mixtape"
Available on CD BABY and iTunes

"F.U.P.A.'s and Kankles - Fluid Minds Live"
Free Download from www.fluidmindsmusic.com

Singles for Independent Movies, TV and Radio

Photos

Bio

Every once in awhile, an individual artist or band of talented musicians come along and change the pace for what may be the mainstream for music at the time. Some become the forefathers of a certain style of music and become legendary; Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Bee Gee’s, Metallica and Nirvana just to name a few. Although Fluid Minds aren’t legendary…yet, they do have a style of their own that could catch fire and become the band to follow for the next several years. - Travis Jensen (musicstreetjournal.com)