Make Your Escape
During a time when a lot of bands end up being photocopies of other bands, with almost indistinguishable sounds and voices, New York City rockers Spotless Mind (named more for the philosophy of a musical tabula rasa than the 2004 Michel Gondry film) break the mold. Though influence comes to these guys from all directions, from Stone Temple Pilots to Led Zeppelin to Jeff Buckley to Tom Waits, the musical landscape they create is undeniably unique, a quality that tends to be lacking in recent years, and the key to the way these guys define themselves as musicians. Their first EP, "Make Your Escape", is an excellent demonstration of this quality. Though they've performed at many venues in and around the NYC area, the release of the EP is Spotless Mind's first big musical step. And with the release party being held at Arlene's Grocery, the four are staying true to their New York City roots. The guys may have finally reached their first goal, but it was years in the making. Nick Sumner, guitar and vocals ("because I'm the only schmuck in the group crazy enough to get up and do it"), and Adam Edgemont, lead guitar and harmony vocals, began playing and writing music in 2004. Sumner sent Edgemont an early demo of the song "Come to Grips," featured on the band's new EP, and they almost immediately began work on their own demo. Akil James, a long time friend of Sumner, originally played bass on the demo, but left the position to the self-proclaimed "sloppy yet inventive" Slam. Recently, James rejoined the band and now claims the drummer's seat as his own. And while still trying to solidify their lineup, Spotless Mind made appearances all over the New York area. In 2005, they played their first M.E.A.N.Y Fest at CBGB's Gallery, and were runners-up at M.E.A.N.Y Fest 2006 at Crash Mansion. Last August, Spotless Mind were featured on CBGB's mainstage on a Saturday night, fulfilling another of the band's goals, one Sumner had dreamed of since he picked up his first electric guitar. The EP is nowhere near being the ultimate culmination of their hard work, but for the hard rock boys from New York City, it's the first step toward that "something big." In the meantime, they are planning their first big east coast tour, with their eyes set on South by Southwest or North by Northeast for the coming year.