Simplicity is a thing I truly and wholeheartedly believe will revel in from time to time. Like a pig in shit, I absolutely love not having to dissect something like a fucking neurosurgeon. Such is the case today with Philadelphia based punk rock outfit Mr. Lisp and their most recent release Get Our Minds Right. Admittedly, punk albums give me and the other writers equivalent of an anxiety attack (which is really just an anxiety attack, I need to stop trying to be clever) due to my admittedly limited background of in-depth appreciation (though I do enjoy the fuck out of that shit don’t get me wrong), but as you will read in the syllables to come, this album in its entirety honestly just kept me in a state of complete ease.
Mr. Lisp as an act dance on a variety of lines that can easily and frailly make or break a punk rock act. Things like captivating riffs, relatable lyrics, simplistic yet unpredictable vocal patterns and harmonies, and (arguably most importantly) recording quality. These cats bring forth a sense of nostalgia without the air of a full-on rip off (minor exception barring). Every tune feels like just enough effort was put in to feel like that band gives a fuck, but flippant and infantile enough that they’re still staying true to the frustratingly abstract standard of “Punk Enough.” Combining all the fragrances that classic household name bands like NOFX, Buzzcocks, (and even a slight hint of The Distillers linger here without any point of necessarily feeling like a bite out of someone else’s shtick. Most impressively, this is all done whilst not necessarily doing anything overtly original either. Unique but not breaking a mold if you will.
No fireworks here on the battlefield of the mixing board. There’s nothing spectacular to comment on but it’s still not a complete fucking dumpster fire. This album has been given just enough love that it’s worth noting while being shitty enough that it’s still the aforementioned requirement of punk. I would love a little more moisture in the drum section, or a little bit of clarity and fatness in the strings, or even some added depth to the vocals, but all of this would take away from the experience and thus I’m left with a dilemma that I quickly abandoned in lieu of just enjoying the fuck out of this piece.
Get Our Minds Right slings forth fun riffs, loveable trashcan rhythms, and garage dwelling vocals on a big boy/girl level. Compositionally, this record is essentially an angsty sixteen-year-old that’s gone and emancipated itself from its parents in an effort to prove that it’s not a fucking phase mom. “Franky Santarelli” and “Post-Communism” bring a chunky vibe of punk that once was while tunes like the title track “Get Our Minds Right” and “Wednesday” bring the more bubblegum popish essence more commonly recognizable of punk today. Track after track feels like a familiar ex-roommate that you’ve somehow reconciled with after having to literally clean up their feces while still being a face you’ve never really met before. It’s a comfortable record and even though it’s far from perfect or ground-breaking, those imperfections and seeming lack of a fuck to give are what make this album mad worth the love
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Mike Milito