14 April 2011

Review: State Of Mind 'Nil By Ear'

Nil By Ear
[SOM Music]

State Of Mind's third album kicks off with the massively epic track Vega, featuring P.Digsss, and which could've been lifted from Shapeshifter's last studio album. Thankfully it's the only track which apes NZ's most famous drum and bass outfit. The remainder of Nil By Ear sees Patrick Hawkins and Stu Maxwell delving deeper into their dark, intense, bass-heavy sound while crafting an outstanding album listening experience. Some of the songwriting is a little patchy in places, but does that really matter when dance floor stompers and wee-hour wonders abound? Nil By Ear is an incredibly well produced album, ambitious without straying too far from their roots. Highlights include vocal turns from Sacha Vee (drum and bossa?) and Thomas Oliver; but I can't go past Downward Spiral, which sounds like Burial and D-Bridge bashing the bejeezus out of an old space invaders machine with a blowtorch and a baseball bat.

3 stars from 5

Reprinted courtesy of the Waikato Times

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