Hello the Mind Control
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Hello the Mind Control

Mesa, Arizona, United States | INDIE

Mesa, Arizona, United States | INDIE
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"Hello the Mind Control – “Total War” (Workout Montage)"

In the Republic’s write-up of Hello The Mind Control’s “Total War” (Workout Montage), singer/guitarist/songwriter Tyler Broderick names Andrew Jackson Jihad‘s Sean Bonnette as his favorite songwriter. There are nods in the Jihad’s direction on the album: both artists record with Mesa’s Jalipaz Nelson at audioconfusion; both artists write acoustic-guitar-driven pop songs that flourish with tasteful accompaniment – HtMC’s live show features as many as 7 regular members on stage.

“Total War” has a pace and a knack for dynamism that is also reminiscent of a Jihad LP; songs flow into and out of one another, feeling so organic that you know they were planned that way. The 1-2-3 peak-valley-peak of album openers “Clean,” “String,” and “Poppies” are a great example. On the whole, the band’s second effort (after their “Good Morals & Values” EP) is very strong, leaps and bounds ahead of their prior recording. ”Good Morals” was no slack job, but one listen to the re-recorded “Poppies” demonstrates that the band has become more comfortable as a rock unit – Broderick’s voice sounds more confident, and the band pops, starts, and stops on a dime behind him.

The band sounds better lyrically, too. Broderick sets the tone for much of the album in the first lines of the first songwhen he observes that “Nothing ever works like it used to/Those things that never worked, back then they didn’t work/they sufficed.” From there, Broderick and Quinn Scribner, the band’s other songwriter, pen lyrics that plumb the depths of suburban teen malaise, wanderlust, and love without being nauseatingly naive or disgustingly overblown.

Like a lot of urban songsters, natural imagery is a common motif in the band’s work. For example, in “Neighborhood’s Grass,” Broderick uses horticulture to put into words the feelings of many a gated community teen:

Holy smokes, today I saw the most beautiful thing
I saw the grayest of skies, with my neighborhood’s grass so green
And I know they’re horrible people, but, for once, I’d like to think
I could judge them by the colors of the grass on their lawn

The songwriting duo never gets cloying or self-righteousness; the songs burn more with earnestness than resentment or condemnation. The music is appropriately rousing without being melodramatic. The experiments with noise and feedback on their EP are more limited here – if the wondrous cacophony on album closer “Dungeons & Dragons” is any indication, here’s hoping that they continue to flirt with that idea.

Long story short, I think I’m gonna file this one under the “how-can-kids-in-high-school-be-making-such-good-music” in my cranky old man filing system. - Intentional Press


"Hello The Mind Control Unleash ‘Total War’"

I remember coming out of my first show at The Trunkspace a couple years ago, an influential D.I.Y. art space in Downtown Phoenix, slightly disappointed. The show happened to be a collective of a bunch of cutie acoustic indie folk pop artists. Now, that’s not really my cup of tea and it being my first show with local musicians playing I came away with naïve jadedness about my local music scene that I held onto for a fairly long, overdue time.

Now fast forward to this Feb., I saw Mesa’s Hello The Mind Control live for the first time. I had no expectations and in the back of my mind I thought “oh, it’s another one of those bands,” boy was I ever wrong and thankfully Tyler Broderick and Co. showed first impressions can be a bitch. Pure emotion, originality, and fun poured from their set which reminded me of a happy hybrid of Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel with pop sensibilities. Ever since I’ve been hooked by HTMC and their new full length Total War has made me an even bigger supporter of the band.

From the get go of Total War the band lets their presence be known. “Clean” kicks off the album as lead singer Broderick belts out an exciting vocal performance followed with a full-on-rock-out guitar solo. It’s apparent that Hello The Mind Control is here and their sound is bigger and badder than ever.

Total War chugs along with the next two stand out tracks “Strings” and “Poppies” that a have a jumpy folk-punk feel, but are contrasted beautifully with the violin work of Quinn Scribner and the girl/boy vocals of Brianna Johnson and Broderick.

As the album moves towards the end, Total War is where it hits the most. “This Old Tree” provides one of the most impressive lyrical moments of the album. “Don’t be scared little birds, don’t be afraid. Your mother’s right beside you protecting you from pain” and “It’s been a while since I’ve been home” as Broderick sings about moving away, love-loss, and loneliness in the Belle & Sebastian-esque song.

Then, the most impressive overall performance from the band comes on the album’s final track “Dungeons and Dragons.” It’s a brooding moody epic filled with drones, distortion, and feedback not felt on the rest of the album, but somehow fits in. The track is a strong indication to where Hello The Mind Control can push their sound in the future.

Hello The Mind Control had once again showed me how wrong my first impressions about local Arizona music were with Total War being one of the strongest local releases of the year. The album is an impressive new step for the band that should offer even more great releases as their sound progresses. - Patrick Sexton


"Hello the Mind Control Unveils Plans for 'Total War'"

Hello the Mind Control, a Mesa band whose sound can range from upbeat indie folk to richly textured chamber pop, will launch a nine-date West Coast tour with a CD release show at the Trunk Space in Phoenix on Monday, July 12
The CD, "Total War," is an impressive full-length follow-up to a debut EP called "Good Morals & Values." Highlights include the majestic chamber pop of "Clean," the almost Irish-flavored folk of "Stones" (one of several tracks that made me feel like I was watching "Rushmore") and "Neighborhood's Grass," where Tyler Broderick memorably sighs, "I know they're horrible people but for once I'd like to think I could judge them by the color of the grass on their lawn."
We caught up with Broderick, who talked about the path to "Total War."
Question: When you first put Hello the Mind Control together, did you have a pretty clear idea of what kind of sound you were after?
Answer: I wish I could say that I've always had a master plan, but that would be a huge lie. When I was first putting the band together, I wanted to sound like an electronica/techno group. I felt that Hello the Mind Control was a perfect electronica band name. There were a few songs written in this style, but I thought they were awful. After ditching the techno sound, I tried to write more indie folk songs that would incorporate every one of my friends - which meant just having a ton of instruments and noise. Luckily, I didn't follow through with those ideas and just let my writing style evolve naturally into what it is today.
Q: Did it take a while to get there?
A: Yes, I've been writing songs for three years under Hello the Mind Control, and I finally feel like we are playing songs that we are all proud of.
Q: Did you always have the violin?
A: Yes, we've always had the violin or at least since we ditched the techno sound. When we first had Quinn (Scribner) over to play, I wasn't expecting him to stick around for very long or become a core member. But he now writes songs, sings, plays mandolin and has become one of my greatest friends.
Q: Do you feel like the EP taught you anything that you applied here?
A: Definitely. The "Good Morals & Values" EP was our first time in the studio. It has a more quirky and folky sound. We still appreciate the EP, but I think all of us feel that it is a little immature, probably because right after we finished recording the EP is when we found our sound.
Q: Are you the main songwriter?
A: Yes. However, Quinn has written songs and helped me write some songs as well. Usually, what will happen is: I'll write a song by myself, then I'll show it to everyone, giving them ideas, and finally everyone adds their own piece.
Q: Are there writers that you feel have shaped your approach more than others?
A: Well, Sean Bonnette from Andrew Jackson Jihad is my personal favorite songwriter. But some other writers who have inspired us are Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian, Colin Meloy from the Decemberists, Karl Blau and whoever writes the songs in the band LAKE.
Q: You don't have horns in the band, do you? Who plays on the record and now that you've done that, do you miss the horns when you do those songs live?
A: No, we don't normally have horns. On the record, we had our friends Nick Benzer (trombone) and AJ Papsdorf (trumpet) perform. We aren't super big on post-production, but we felt that having horns on the album would be sweet. Usually live, we have Brianna Johnson (keyboards) fill in their parts or she'll play something else to replace them. We'd eventually like to have them play live with us just for kicks. So probably after the tour, that'll happen here and there.
Q: In your press release, you say the band includes "a history buff, a theologian, a lifeguard, a bibliophile, a hooligan and a Disneyland fanatic." Which are you?
A: I would be the Disneyland fanatic. Almost every night for the past year and a half, I've researched, archived, and obsessed over old photos, lost attractions, remodeled attractions, Imagineers, new plans, and construction documents of the park. I find the park incredibly inspiring and beautiful.

- The Arizona Republic


"Hello the Mind Control Unveils Plans for 'Total War'"

Hello the Mind Control, a Mesa band whose sound can range from upbeat indie folk to richly textured chamber pop, will launch a nine-date West Coast tour with a CD release show at the Trunk Space in Phoenix on Monday, July 12
The CD, "Total War," is an impressive full-length follow-up to a debut EP called "Good Morals & Values." Highlights include the majestic chamber pop of "Clean," the almost Irish-flavored folk of "Stones" (one of several tracks that made me feel like I was watching "Rushmore") and "Neighborhood's Grass," where Tyler Broderick memorably sighs, "I know they're horrible people but for once I'd like to think I could judge them by the color of the grass on their lawn."
We caught up with Broderick, who talked about the path to "Total War."
Question: When you first put Hello the Mind Control together, did you have a pretty clear idea of what kind of sound you were after?
Answer: I wish I could say that I've always had a master plan, but that would be a huge lie. When I was first putting the band together, I wanted to sound like an electronica/techno group. I felt that Hello the Mind Control was a perfect electronica band name. There were a few songs written in this style, but I thought they were awful. After ditching the techno sound, I tried to write more indie folk songs that would incorporate every one of my friends - which meant just having a ton of instruments and noise. Luckily, I didn't follow through with those ideas and just let my writing style evolve naturally into what it is today.
Q: Did it take a while to get there?
A: Yes, I've been writing songs for three years under Hello the Mind Control, and I finally feel like we are playing songs that we are all proud of.
Q: Did you always have the violin?
A: Yes, we've always had the violin or at least since we ditched the techno sound. When we first had Quinn (Scribner) over to play, I wasn't expecting him to stick around for very long or become a core member. But he now writes songs, sings, plays mandolin and has become one of my greatest friends.
Q: Do you feel like the EP taught you anything that you applied here?
A: Definitely. The "Good Morals & Values" EP was our first time in the studio. It has a more quirky and folky sound. We still appreciate the EP, but I think all of us feel that it is a little immature, probably because right after we finished recording the EP is when we found our sound.
Q: Are you the main songwriter?
A: Yes. However, Quinn has written songs and helped me write some songs as well. Usually, what will happen is: I'll write a song by myself, then I'll show it to everyone, giving them ideas, and finally everyone adds their own piece.
Q: Are there writers that you feel have shaped your approach more than others?
A: Well, Sean Bonnette from Andrew Jackson Jihad is my personal favorite songwriter. But some other writers who have inspired us are Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian, Colin Meloy from the Decemberists, Karl Blau and whoever writes the songs in the band LAKE.
Q: You don't have horns in the band, do you? Who plays on the record and now that you've done that, do you miss the horns when you do those songs live?
A: No, we don't normally have horns. On the record, we had our friends Nick Benzer (trombone) and AJ Papsdorf (trumpet) perform. We aren't super big on post-production, but we felt that having horns on the album would be sweet. Usually live, we have Brianna Johnson (keyboards) fill in their parts or she'll play something else to replace them. We'd eventually like to have them play live with us just for kicks. So probably after the tour, that'll happen here and there.
Q: In your press release, you say the band includes "a history buff, a theologian, a lifeguard, a bibliophile, a hooligan and a Disneyland fanatic." Which are you?
A: I would be the Disneyland fanatic. Almost every night for the past year and a half, I've researched, archived, and obsessed over old photos, lost attractions, remodeled attractions, Imagineers, new plans, and construction documents of the park. I find the park incredibly inspiring and beautiful.

- The Arizona Republic


Discography

"Good Morals & Values" EP, 2009
"Total War" LP, 2010

Photos

Bio

Hello the Mind Control’s songwriting has been compared to that of Belle & Sebastian, Dr. Dog, The Shins, Wilco, Arcade Fire, The Mountain Goats, and Neutral Milk Hotel. It is Hello the Mind Control’s folk melodies and lyrics that are consistently coupled with a driving push that balances the traditional “Indie/pop/folk” sound with a progressive edge. In a review of their album, “Total War”, TK Campo of The Trunkspace’s Monthly Zine referred to Hello the Mind Control as Tracks “Epic Pop”. He used this to describe the sweet and tender acoustic moments, the raw build ups of emotion, and the blend of stoic bass lines and surf-y guitar tones.
Sprung from Mesa, Arizona amidst sweltering heat and summer boredom, Hello the Mind Control has existed for over three years. Always eager to perform, they have played in backyards, coffee shops, kitchens, and professional venues all across Mesa, Scottsdale,Tempe, and Phoenix. In July of 2010, Hello the Mind Control set out for their first tour. They played their way up the West Coast, stopping in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Chico, Portland, Seattle, Boise, and Salt Lake City. Hello the Mind Control has also organized and headlined numerous benefit concerts across Arizona to raise money and awareness for global charities including the Boko Center in Tanzania, Carolina for Kibera in Kenya, and Invisible Children in Uganda.