MindFree
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MindFree

Hollywood, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Hollywood, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Alternative Rock

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""An Enjoyable Trip:" Gilles Snowcat Reviews MIndFree's Debut"

By Gilles Snowcat
When you first hear that a group named MindFree is active in California, proudly exhibiting an infinite-inspired logo, you might think of a kind of leadership, awareness-training seminar for Hollywood celebs in search of personal development or motivation to overcome their career’s pitfalls. You might almost feel the presence of Werner Erhard himself.

And you can’t be more wrong. MindFree is a rock band. And they play something called “a unique brand of Motown Grunge.”

Motown grunge. Wow. Intriguing, to say the least. The power of words: images of the Funk Brothers meeting Nirvana strangely pop to my mind. My mind, my free mind allows me such a connection. Does MindFree’s music do the same?

On a more practical side, MindFree is a new band formed by Hollywood rock scene veterans keyboardist Keith Walsh (remember Brick Bosso and some Unboxing moments? Yeah, that one) and guitarist Mark Abbruzzese. Those two who are obviously no strangers to each other, as Keith Walsh says: “Mark and I go back literally 5 decades. As immortals, we are still in the youthful phase of our lives.”
So, why not have a careful listen at what young immortals can do, musically speaking?

The thundering drums of “I Am The Wolf” leave no room for doubt: Motown Grunge is actually close to melodic, open-minded hard rock. This is confirmed all the record along, with a lot of interactions between the 6-string and the Hammond organ. Think of good rocking moments of the Bernie Shaw-fronted Uriah Heep to get the picture.
“Strong Connection”
But MindFree isn’t a copy of anything you know though. There are touches of uniqueness in the bass lines, played on synthesizer by Walsh, and delightful horns by the Moynahan brothers. This kind of departure from basic classic hard rock is especially obvious on the mid-tempo “She Will Be.” Walsh points out that “while tracking the horns for the part in the middle of ‘She Will Be,’ I suggested that something similar to Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain would fit. A lightbulb went on over each of their heads, they said ‘yeah!’ and came up with that smooth performance.”

Despite the strong connection between Abbruzzese and Walsh, MindFree is by no means a duet. They got their hands on drummer Ric Rosario and recorded their debut album under the skills of producer CD Rios. Rios joins the band on stage to play a real, 4-string bass guitar, leaving Walsh free to do whatever he wants with the Hammond.
Although the organ is the dominant keyboard all through the album, there are some nice synthesizer parts here and there, especially a Mellotron-inspired pad on the fast blues “Shoshone.”

The album features two rather inoffensive covers that don’t really match the strength of the band’s own songs: Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” from Nick Lowe. Much more interesting are the two tracks that first appeared on Brick Bosso’s records. The ska feel of “Storks And Vultures” adds a delightful dimension to the band’s first effort, and “Hollywood Heroes” has a fantastic pop mood that boosts the whole album to summits.
Another impressive song is the bulldozer title-track, that revisits the territory of an energetic Black Sabbath at its best. “MindFree” strangely gets a German version closing the album, a bit like a bonus track. Walsh explains: “[Mark] earned parts of his degrees in Germany, hence the German language version of ‘MindFree’ and his affection for beer — lots of beer.”

The whole album is an enjoyable trip, which is no surprise if you listen to Walsh’s memories: “The MindFree Experience is without a doubt the most satisfying music making journey I’ve been on.”

He happily concludes: “We’re all thrilled to have finally completed our first masterpiece.”

Gilles is a Belgium-based, globe-trotting polyglot, a singer/songwriter with a flair for the absurd and a mastery of instruments who started in the late 1980s making music. - Punk Rock Beat . com


"Album Review At Divide And Conquer Music"

Mark Abbruzzese (guitar and vocals) and Keith Walsh (keys and bass synth) have known each other since kindergarten but they just recently released their debut self-titled album Mindfree. Ric Rosario, drummer joined in 2021 while CD Rios was the engineer/producer. At their core they are a rock band and I would also say they sound like a live band at least on this album. The recordings sound like they are playing a room together.

They get going with a nice romp of a song entitled “I Am The Wolf” that is an upbeat and fun song. It reminds me of a song you might want to hear on a Friday night hoping to have a good time.

The band simmers it down slightly with “She Will Be'' which is a little more of a rock ballad. Bowie came to mind on this song and just in general more of a ’70s aesthetic. They continue to crush with the organ infused “Storks and Vultures” and the more lush piano led “Shoshone” which has one explosive and epic chorus.

The title track “MindFree” was the first time they rock out in a prog rock style. They display their technical skills going up and down scales and changing tempo. This felt like a highlight to me.

The Bowie vibes became more apparent on “Hollywood Heroes” which sounded great. I will take sometime to compliment the vocalist on his dynamic range as well as the emotion he put into singing. Another standout prog rock infused track is “MindFrei.”

This is a finely produced album. As I mentioned earlier this sounds very live as if you are hearing the band in the studio performing. I personally love that quality in music which feels less and less common.

​The songs were well written but also felt connected by the band's signature sound which is something I always preach about in my reviews. Recommended. - Divide And Conquer Music


"Motown Grunge Of MindFree’s Debut Album Coming This Summer"

MindFree’s debut album will feature 11 new recordings, ranging from prog to melodic hard rock and classic keyboard-focused pop. - Punk Rock Beat . com


Discography

MINDFREE's debut album was released on August 22, 2021 on Bandcamp.com, and all streaming platforms shortly thereafter. Fans of rock and roll agree that the 11 song disc should be played often, and played LOUD!
https://mindfreerock.bandcamp.com/album/mindfree

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Bio

MindFree are the originators of the Motown Grunge sound, with songs that are forward sounding yet classic. From bangers to ballads, pure pop to post grunge, MindFree will give you a night to remember.

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