Hivemind, a four-piece rock band from Sunderland, are aiming for big things with their debut self-titled album and, both in terms of ambition and sound, they’re certainly a band to look out for.
Loud, aggressive and very self-aware, ‘Hivemind’ is a combination of some of the best influences in rock: glam-stomp Marilyn Manson, riff-heavy Rammstein and screw you attitude of early Guns N’ Roses.
First track, ‘Riot Envy’, is an excellent start to the album. Explicit, aggressive and stomping, former lead singer Lauren Sutcliffe scowls and howls over a driving inverted glam rock structure – it’s a winning combination and one which underpins the album, resurfacing, most noticeably, on recent single ‘Bad Disease’ and album standouts ‘Judge, Jury, Executioner’ and ‘Gods & Guns’, itself an obvious reference to Manson at his most intense and explicit.
‘Sweet 16’ and ‘House of Mirrors’ showcase deeper, more classic-rock sounding influences in the Hivemind psyche. Driven by less distorted and effect-driven sounds, both tracks are led by superb guitar riffs and solos – they offer useful insights into Hivemind’s talent and ability to not end up typecast into a particular sound or mood.
Given her impact onto the album, it’ll be interesting to see the next move for Hivemind following Lauren’s departure (a move potentially foreseen in ‘Bindfold’ with its longing ‘time was never on our side’ reference). However, in terms of musicality, ambition and bravery, the potential is certainly.
As an ambitious, exploring, debut, this is superb.
The album is available to listen to now across all streaming sites.