Criminal Mind
Words Sandrine Caire

The first time I saw Criminal Mind live they were playing support to Street Dogs, I turned up in the middle of “Remember Your Name” and I gladly welcomed the big slap that hit me right in the face. Then I had a big sigh of relief thinking that never again I would have to worry about the “relève”… those four scruffy punk rock rebels made my day. I was simply witnessing a revival of the Clash”¦ No kidding!!

Like it or not, they are to me the; young punk generation and I wouldn’t hesitate to compare them to the greatest iconic punk bands… and in the magic well of their inspiration you can fish out bands like Dropkick Murphy’s, Stiff Little Fingers, Street Dogs and The Ruts. That’s’ just to give you an idea of how awesome these lads are… good because influence does not mean copy.

Criminal Mind formed as a 4 piece punk band in the late 2008 based on the outskirts of Bristol (UK). The band members are: Josh Read – Vocals/Guitar, Ben Dowling – Bass/Vocals, Sam Turner – Guitar/Vocals and last but not least Ben Waldock ”“ Drums; since then they have honed their sound, learnt their craft and now with the imminent release of their album ”˜Debut Album’ they are ready to challenge the old guard.

The guys have their very own style and they make sure they get their point across through cleverly written songs, the anti-war ”˜Bella Horrida Bella’ or close to my heart “Hard Addiction”. I can only be admirative of the result given the very DIY work the guys did when they recorded the album (Josh told me he’s used his home stuff i.e. his eight track mixer!!!).

Andy K (D-Mob/Noise Agents) said that it’s not that often a band can make the hair stand up on the back of his neck and make him think ”Yeah a new generation has arrived and we better accept it if we want punk rock to continue being an influence to the musical masses”. J. Ody confirmed: “the best unsigned punk band around”.
I couldn’t agree more with both of them when I listen to the gritty-itchy-scratchy ”˜Keep Your Mouth Shut’…

Bass player Ben gave me a copy of the album last week. Andy and I ran home to enjoy this slice of raw punk. Disappointed we were not! I like the sharpness of their melodies ”˜Johnny’s Song’, ”˜Frustrated and Teenage’ and lead singer Josh’s broken voice on ”˜Capital Trench Town’ (Ben’s bass line is a gem). One of my favourites is probably ”˜You’ll Never Take Us Down’ for its chirpy catchy riff and for the message it delivers.

Surely you might have understood by now that I am a fan, to me their debut album is magnificent and powerful, it’s an ode to faith and hope and pure punk. Those kids are amazingly talented and full of promise.

So far the have been selected to support some of the top punk bands on the planet including Sham 69, Rancid and The Cockney Rejects to mention a few, and with a sound that makes you proud to be part of the very scene I believe they will tear up for years to come.
Twelve tracks later I’m still smiling, convinced you’ll never take them down…

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