Melissa Auf der Maur: Out of Our Minds

RIYL: Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Danzig

As a former bassist for alt-rock icons such as Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Auf der Maur has been through the grunge wars. She’s been lying low for a while, but she’s clearly put a lot of energy into this new album. The album seems to have a vague theme about using the power of music to transcend dark times, and Auf der Maur has put together a collection of powerful tunes with strong production value and artistic flair.

“If there’s a fire, a need, a desire, are you willing and able to set the stakes higher?” asks Auf der Maur on the darkly-tinged title track. She’s set the bar higher with this album, inviting fans to go along for a ride. All of the tunes are minor key songs that veer from moody to hard rocking, and she navigates between those two areas with great skill. Many of the songs seem to have a cinematic vibe, as the album was apparently designed to accompany a graphic novel and film. The tunes stand alone well on their own, though.

“Isis Speaks” is a hard rocker that conjures the image of a dark goddess. “Follow the Map” is a highlight with its dark, edgy riffs and lyrics about a pirate’s journey. “Meet Me on the Dark Side” is another dynamic hard rocker, interspersed with some melodic guitar lines to create some extra sonic texture. The tune conjures the image of a character like Kate Beckinsale’s Celine from the “Underworld” movie series. Glenn Danzig joins the fun for a dark duet on “Father’s Grave,” which delves into a more subdued but freaky territory. Auf der Maur amps it back up with two more killer rockers toward the end of the album in “The Key” and “The One.” Then she closes it out with “1000 Years,” which seems to allude to an epic storyline.

The material is strong and could make for an intriguing theatrical style performance in the live setting if Auf der Maur should decide to go that way. (PHI-MAdM/EMI 2010)

Melissa Auf der Maur MySpace page


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