Mind Games EP
by PH

‘Post punk/metal’ is how Shadow Spirit describe themselves on their website. I’m not really sure what that means, if anything. I’m guessing it’s just a cop out of specifying the musical genre they’re aiming at, rather than being a clever ‘we can’t be pigeonholed’ sidestep. Listening to their first MP3 offering ‘This Bloody Sword’, I can sort of see why they struggle to describe themselves, but it’s not too hard to pigeonhole this song – it’s crap. Everything it tries to be it fails at – the vocal is trying to be menacing and gritty, but it just sounds desperate and untrained. The music attempts to dip from melodic to heavy and into a catchy lead break, but just ends up a shambolic mess with a laughable guitar interlude that uses as much creativity as I do going to the toilet. Famine starts slightly more promisingly, but degenerates into much the same with the introduction of the rhythm guitar, then the vocal and finally the chorus. This is disjointed song structuring at its best and really is a struggle to listen to all the way through. It makes me wonder if the band have actually listened to these recordings and thought, "yeah, that’s a good song and it sounds really good". If they had they would have realised that a) it’s not and b) it doesn’t. By the time I get to ‘Mind Games’ I’m hoping, for their sake, that as the title track of their latest release, it's able to claw something back. It doesn’t. The band probably describe it as an ‘instrumental’. I would describe it as an extended intro for a song. And that’s being kind. It’s two musical phrases repeated for two minutes – one melodic, one heavy. That’s all it is. Shadow spirit need to spend less time coming up with new ways of describing how they want to sound and explaining on their website what ‘setup’ each band member uses (seriously, at this stage, no one gives a fuck) and more time working on their songs.