Still Minds

IMG_2315.JPG Live Review from Sub Terra #2
1. ‎Why
2. ‎Do i
3. ‎Till I found you
4, ‎Sad song‎
5. ‎Too many times
6. ‎Give it all away
7. ‎All the time

Main support act Still Minds began their set with ‘Why’ – a Bluesy/American Rock number with smooth licks by Tony Lee and a low anchoring bass from Noriko Watanabe. Instrumentally, this track had elements of John Mayer about it, but once Adrian Da Silva’s falsetto cut through in the chorus, it added a Counting Crows flavour, taken straight out of the mid-90’s.

Do I’ clearly channelled Led Zeppelin with low distorted riffs in unison on both guitars and bass, meanwhile Masaki Heung boomed out his inner John Bonham with splashy hi-hats and loose backbeat. Sadly, the vocals were clouded by Lee’s lead guitar, but his pentatonic-based slow bends and subtle whammy bar served well in the solo.

Till I Found You’ started with a funk rock riff reminiscent of Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘Get Up and Jump’ but with far less angst. This swiftly changed in the verses with interesting chord shapes on top of Watanabe’s low rumbling bass, creating an Afghan Whigs/heavy Doves hybrid. Da Silva’s soft tones cut through the mix a little better with the repetition of “So out of line” over a solid ascending progression.

Sad song’ and ‘Too Many Times’ brought the tempo down with their undeniable 90’s American Rock sound. Da Silva inflected Josh Homme vocal lines over augmented chords making ‘Sad Song’ sound like a sophomore Queens of the Stone Age track, whilst ‘Too Many Times’ had a similar feel to Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ with its swung 6/8 rhythm. Lee impressed the crowd with his effortless volume swells, slides and pull-offs, which blended with the song nicely.

Penultimate track ‘Give It All Away’ was tightly played, with its jagged Maximo Park style riff over straight drums, before once again returning to the 90’s American Rock sound – this time echoing a laid back Foo Fighters.

Still Minds closed their set with a Hendrix-inspired ‘All The Time’ paired with a soulful Alicia Keys feel which was helped along nicely by Heung’s shuffling drums. Whilst the band played impressively and held the public’s attention, they lacked stage presence and had no interaction with the audience throughout the 30 minute set. Nevertheless, they showcased their abilities well as individuals and collectively, as well as a level of professionalism that many aspiring musicians could look up to.

– Chris Gillett

 

Sub Terra 2當晚第三隊演出嘅Still Minds係一隊主打九十年代另類搖滾嘅組合,受到Pearl Jam、Foo Fighters等樂隊影響,風格比較主流。無論音樂上定係氣氛上,都同之前一隊節奏極快嘅實驗性ska組合Say Mosquito形成強烈嘅對比。

Still Minds呢隊四人組合喺台上動作唔多,演出氣氛比較冷靜、克制,筆者甚至覺得佢地歌曲嘅錄音版可能會比現場版更加好聽。編曲係佢地嘅強項,玩到較為緩慢嘅歌曲「Till I Found You」同「Sad Song」嘅時候,特顯出好多其他樂隊會忽略嘅細節。歌手Adrian da Silva嘅聲線,非常溫柔動聽,而低音結他每一次轉chord,都會令聽眾有唔同嘅感覺。但係歌曲最重要嘅元素,無疑係結他手Tony Lee一支stratocaster濃厚而懷舊嘅音調,當進入藍調結他solo時,彷彿會見到少少Eric Clapton嘅影子。
-Elson Tong


IMG_1858.jpg Live Review from Underground 118

1. Why
2. Do I
3. Too Many Times
4. Bigger Mice
5. Give It All Away
6. Bond
7. Blues

So new that they didn’t even have a Facebook page yet, Still Minds (the ‘s’ was added after the flyers were printed!) were an unknown entity ahead of their UG 118 show. Lead singer Adrian Da Silva and drummer Masaki came from the thoroughly excellent HK group Audiotraffic, but it was unclear how Still Minds – with their promise of “radio friendly music” blended with “adult-oriented pop” – would sound. Now, we can confirm that the hype is real, or whatever the kids listening to “teen-oriented pop” say these days. It was a joy to behold.

The band’s sound was broadly contemporary blues, rooted in US alternative rock. Da Silva’s rich voice was the best is has ever been; soft, soulful and seductive when it needed to be, with a harsh grittiness only ever a few bars away. Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder could all be heard in thoughtful lyrics and that lush, intense voice.

First song Why evoked both Pink Floyd and Tedeschi Trucks in its clever guitarwork, twisting solo, and deep, slow, reverberating bass. Lead guitarist Tony shared the spotlight on the Hendrix-meets-RHCP Bigger Mice, a funky track with a more traditional blues spin. “This is a song about 007,” said Da Silva, introducing standout track Bond. “All I have is you, precious you … you can make the sad song disappear,” he sang amid fraught fuzz of anxious guitar before optimistic closer Blues shed sunlight on the emotional gloom with big, summery guitars.
– El Jay

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Performances by Still Minds: