Mind Spiders have performed a magic shrinking trick. Just a few years ago, the band had a huge sound influenced by Phil Spector and Brian Eno. But for its fifth record, Furies, Mind Spiders have significantly pared down that lineup of two drummers, a keyboardist, two guitarists and a bass player. While the sound is more minimalist, Furies' eight songs cruise by just as quickly as the band's other albums for Dirtnap Records.
Furies is Mind Spiders' first album to be cut as a trio of frontman Mark Ryan, keyboardist Peter Salisbury and drummer Mike Throneberry. Bassist Daniel Fried and guitarist Stephen Svacina moved to Austin, and Ryan opted to not replace them.
“It seemed more convenient to not add more people," Ryan, a behavioral specialist who also plays with garage rock bands Radioactivity and Marked Men, tells the Observer. "It actually became more of the sound that I wanted. I wanted the band to be more stripped down.”
Second drummer Greg Rutherford left years ago. “I stopped doing the two drummer thing a while back because that was a pain in the ass,” Ryan says.
Ryan had a difficult 2017, and you can hear it in on Furies. Its last track is dedicated to a close friend of Ryan's who died in August. Ryan also lost his father in December after an 18-month battle with cancer. Ryan says the whole album isn't about his friend and father, and he leaves interpretation up to the listener.
By focusing more closely on the guitar, keyboards and drums for Furies, Mind Spiders were able to maintain the intensity of their music. Ryan likes to play fast and let things rip, and the new material is more post-punk than the music he makes with his other bands.
“There’s nothing about this that’s garage rock to me,” he says. “At this point, it’s completely different.”
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Furies also sounds different because it was recorded at Ryan’s home and not at Cool Devices, the studio he and Jeff Burke have run for a few years. Throneberry recorded his drums on drum pads, but his timing is as precise as ever.
“I don’t really want to record real drums anymore after doing that,” Ryan says with a laugh.
Recording at home might be the way of the future for Ryan. He and Burke are preparing to close Cool Devices at the end of February because their landlord is selling the property, but Ryan says they plan to someday find a new location to record, mix and master.
A short tour promoting Furies is in the works, and Mind Spiders will play a trio of local shows as well. The first is Saturday, Jan. 27, at Andy's bar in Denton. They'll play Three Links in Deep Ellum on Saturday, Feb. 10, and Main at South Side in Fort Worth on Friday, Feb. 23.