By: Ethan Bloomfield, Reviews Editor
[Of Two Minds; 2022]
Columbus based math rock quartet Of Two Minds’ anticipated new single, “At a Distance”, is a youthful and fresh take for such a technical and, for some, daunting genre of music. Mixed by Toe guitarist Mino Takaaki, this track feels like a taste of a pleasant and exuberant ride through the palpable, distinctly human passion and hypnotic melodies that not only “At a Distance” and Of Two Minds provides, but Toe is known for.
The percussion on this track, arguably the flashiest part of the whole affair, glitters with endless high hats behind these tight guitars that carry the complex melody along, especially towards the middle of the song when the distinct snare hits highlight the rapidly changing soundscape. This song moves around a lot but is never too elusive to nail down, striking a nice balance that makes it easy to digest casually.
This track also feels like it is happening right in front of you. While it admittedly has very little room to breathe up front as the song begins very suddenly, throwing me into the sound all at once, leave it to Mino Takaaki to preserve the essence of live music-making in the mix in a very organic and natural way (which was one of the highlights of Toe’s last album, DOKU-EN-KAI, during my review).
Of Two Minds have crafted something that should pique any math head’s interest. The skill is clearly there, the respect for veterans of the genre is there, and the fervor to further the work and influence of math rock comes through very well. It takes more than skill to play that hard, fast, and complex: it takes passion, and that is what I look for in any math rock project – passion that shines through all the fancy footwork and connects with the heart.