Debut album for Melbourne punk hardcore quintet Mindset that delivers a fresh take on the modern hardcore sound, holding down a purposeful balance of the old and the new. For fans of Comeback Kid, With Honor, Kid Dynamite and Title Fight.
500 x CDs

MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Bit slow off the mark with this one, released a few months ago by these Melbourne lads. A healthy mix of punk rock and melodic hardcore is what they serve up with a great production behind them. They have a sound that I tend to give a ‘gateway’ description too. The kind of band I’d play to someone looking to get into something a bit more hardcore from say pop punk / rock. It’s not too heavy / not too light, easy to get into, vocals you can understand and just enough catchiness to hook you. All that, is a good mix for my ears. Highlight are ‘Continue’, ‘Believer’ and ‘Riverside’. Further proof locals can stand up and match it with the bigger international names in the genre, this one is on par with a lot of the stuff coming out on Bridge 9 etc..

News Hit
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
When it comes to modern hardcore, one of the most common mistakes that bands tend to make is attempting to fit too many different ideas into the space of a single album. Resultantly, many end up producing artistically bloated records that meander along for a whole lot longer than they should. Luckily, Tasmanian-native but Melbourne-based Mindset have managed to avoid this common pitfall with their brand new debut album. Entitled Midnight Sky, the full length certainly isn’t lacking stylistic variation, but does so in a cohesive manner that ensures the listener’s full attention throughout. On the whole, Mindset’s interpretation of hardcore is a shade lighter than the norm, with a touch more melody present in both the group’s vocals and guitar work. The latter in particular is a highlight throughout much of the album, with tasteful arpeggios adding an extra layer of depth to tracks like “Riverside.” It is only when the group attempts to transition into full-blown Carpathian­-esque metalcore that cracks begin to appear in their approach, but thankfully these moments are few and far between. Perhaps what is most exciting to hear on Midnight Sky, however, are the small experimental flourishes which characterise much of its second half. Many hardcore groups are stylistically limited by their inherent fears of including softer sections in their music, lest this be interpreted as a sign of weakness by more fickle listeners. However, Mindset have been incredibly successful in injecting dynamic variation into their musical palette, with “Teenage Ghosts” in particular benefitting from a more restrained introduction. However, the promise that this experimentation suggests really begins to bear fruit on “Instrumental” and the record’s closer, “Hillcrest.” While some may see the former as merely a cheap piece of filler, it actually fits in perfectly as a rocketing segue into the album’s final chapter while simultaneously showing off the group’s ability to write engaging instrumental music. “Hillcrest” by comparison is a drawn out seven-minute epic, which transitions through an acoustically-driven mid section before again returning to the group’s core sound. As the final track on Midnight Sky, it is the perfect conclusion to a succinct set which spans just over thirty minutes. Mindset may not be reinventing the wheel, but the way in which they approach the genre of hardcore is refreshing compared to what most other bands are doing at this point in time. By largely avoiding artistic wankery and sticking to what they do best, the group has managed to produce an exciting debut album that it is cohesive without ever being boring. Review by: Matthew Woodward

Chucking A Mosh
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Tasmania has long been known to Australian mainlanders as the cold place over the water that you have to take a boat to get too. Over the years it has had mixed fortunes with the products it has produced. Heading up the bad category you’ve got the likes of Nick Riewolt and his mate Martin Bryant, then with the good, youve got Mercury Black Cider, Boags and Mindset. Having formed, and established their style back in Devenport on the north coast of Tasmania, Mindset made the decision to move as a band to the big city of Melbourne to give themselves a real shot at getting their name out there and actually being able to tour. following up to the bands EP, ‘Reset, Revive’, their debut album Midnight Sky is sure to open up the floor to a wave of push moshing in venues across the country. Without messing around with some ‘feely’ intro to set a mood, Midnight Sky gets right into things, combining fast punk drum beats layered with octave chords, before shredding up a storm. The feel for this album is hard to explain, its like taking the heavy breakdowns from a dark metalcore band, but then adding in almost pop punk style metal riffs. Its brutally heavy but at the same time happy and upbeat. The songs are structured cleverly to build momentum and build riffs over the course of a song. One of the more impressive things with this album is the way that the way the band can switch carrying the melody between the vocals and the guitars, constantly changing it around and without the listener realising. The addition of ‘ankle rock mosh’ veteran, Adam Goral, formerly of The Abandonment, to the band has clearly added a more technical aspect into how Mindset go about writing. Songs like ‘Lever’, ’Continue’ and ‘Instrumental’ are great examples of what the band are capable of with the instrumental being a different take on what you might be accustomed to hearing on that style track. WIth years of live experience Mindset have worked hard to establish a solid fan base across Australia, and the addition of the newer members only add to the bands stage presence. If you get the chance to check out this band in your city id recommend having a look, but be prepared, as you may need supportive footwear for the amount of pogo mosh induced stage diving that will occur at their shows! Rating: 22/28 days

Black Munk
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
‘Midnight Sky’ is the debut album from Melbourne group Mindset. Drawing from multiple influences in the hardcore scene, they manage to combine them in a refreshing style. With the help of Adelaide independent label Pee Records, Mindset are on the verge of making a name for themselves. ‘Midnight Sky’ contains songs that quite obviously mean a great deal to the two creators Chaz Kim and Matthew Nichols. Tracks ‘Everest’ and ‘Hillcrest’ include lyrics such as, “I scratched out my goodbye note where no one will read,” and “I’ll never learn to waste these dreams I’ve dreamed.” Vocalist Matthew Nichols delivers his words in a similar style to that of original Comeback Kid singer Scott Wade. With the combination of Comeback Kid vocals and the attitude of bands such as Four Year Strong, they manage to create music that sounds up to date and fresh. Track four, ‘Riverside’, also see’s them slapping in some guitar parts that sound much like the Gold Coast group Mourning Tide. They then start to experiment half way through the album on ‘Teenage Ghosts’ with this time a Carpathian style song. The last song ‘Hillcrest’ clocks in at over seven minutes long and in this genre that is highly unusual. “I…am who I am who I am who I am,” is a standout part of the whole album and can be found in this seven plus minute song. A band in this genre that can create a song of this length and have that song leave a lasting impression is definitely impressive. With the inclusion of a soft acoustic section of the song, Mindset show they are willing to take the best from this genre and are not afraid to experiment and expand with other influences. ‘Midnight Sky’ is an impressive debut album. Mindset have brought a breath of fresh air into the hardcore genre. This album is appealing to a variety of fans of a wide range of aggressive and passionate bands. Album number two has the potential to be something very special. Rating: 8/10

World’s Appreciated Kitsch [Greece]
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Mindset come from Melbourne, Australia. They have nothing to do with the American hardcore band with the same name. No matter the city, no matter the country, no matter the continent, the hardcore pulse beats the same everywhere. From Athens to Melbourne and in between, thousands of young people strive to form a band, release a record, tour and spread out their ideas & dreams to the world. Punk music has no boundaries; especially geographical ones. So, ‘Midnight Sky’ consists of 10 songs of modern hardcore in the vein of Comeback Kid, More Than Life and With Honor. The songs are catchy with a huge melancholic feeling, while the lyrics focus on broken relationships, old friendships and the likes. The guitar riffs are super melodic and I definitely believe that this is Mindset’s strong point.
On the other side, I don’t like that much the brutal vocals that some songs include. They could have avoided them. I strongly recommend you this record if you are a fan of modern hardcore. I know that there are tons of new bands playing that kind of style, but Mindset undoubtedly deserve your attention. The artwork and the whole packaging is cool, as well. Pee Records has raised the stakes representing today’s Aussie hardcore scene. Go listen to Mindset.

Idle and the Bear [USA]
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Mindset are this hardcore band from Melbourne, Australia that happen to sound an awful like a mix between Set Your Goals and Kid Dynamite. Earlier this year, in April, Mindset released their debut full length ‘Midnight Sky’ upon the world, and the world rejoiced. I mean, the entire world didn’t rejoice…but hardcore fans certainly did. Mindset play this brand of hardcore punk music that borrows from pretty much every decade in which hardcore punk existed. The vocals and guitar leads at most times are heavily influenced by 80s hardcore and 90s/2000s metal, whereas there are times in the music where the vocals sound very post-2000 hardcore and the instrumentals don’t hesitate to accompany the vocals by playing the same style of hardcore. If Mindset threw in any more melodic influence than they currently have, it’d be very difficult to tell them apart from bands like Set Your Goals. But since they stay pretty strictly on the side of hardcore, we can’t in good conscious refer to them as a bro-core punk band by any means. What they are, though, is a hardcore band that managed to change my opinion on recent additions to the genre I’ve grown out of. And they did this by writing some good fucking songs. If you’re a fan of pretty much any hardcore band within the last 30 years, you definitely owe it to yourself and to Mindset to try this record out. It’s driven and heavy just as much as it is interesting, unique, infectious, and intelligent. This album is post 2010 hardcore punk at its absolute best, and you’re doing yourself a solid by tuning in. You can check it out on Pee Records’ bandcamp page or just purchase it over at iTunes. That part is up to you, really. Just trust me, it’s a fun album that I’ll definitely be listening to quite a few more times this month. You should do the same, dudes!

Big Cheese Magazine [UK]
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Aussie mob with breakneck-paced melodic hardcore. The success of Parkway Drive and, to a lesser extent, Carpathian and Miles Away has undoubtably opened peoples’ eyes to the quality of the scene Down Under, and – on the basis of ‘Midnight Sky’ – Mindset are ideally placed to capitalise on that buzz. While not bringing anything particularly new to the table, their blend of fast-paced melodic hardcore and the occasional mosh breakdown – the latter bringing to mind A Day To Remember – is instantly memorable and delivered with real energy. They may not be the finished article yet, but there’s so much positivity and enthusiasm here it’s impossible not to be carried along with it.
Rating: 4/5 – Review by: Nick Mann [Canada]
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Melbourne, Australia’s Mindset is rather indicative of the region’s underground hardcore punk scene. Discernable, lyric heavy, barked hardcore with plenty of tempo changes, technical ability, and fluctuating rhythms – they keep things heavy without going overboard. In a region often stereotyped with bigger but overdone standards (see Parkway Drive), the five-piece exhibits enough ragged stylistic personality to bare the mark of one of the good guys. Interestingly, for a group owing so much to frantic speed, they channel much of their scattered soundscape into something loosely resembling rhythm. Take opener “Lever;” guitarists Adam Goral and Chaz Kim hammer heavily on their strings, fusing their rhythm and lead roles with the strength of A Wilhelm Scream and bluntness of their classically trained hardcore labelmates Strength Approach. Consequently, tracks like “Teenage Ghosts” doubly exert youthful explosions and a technical mastery often characteristic of veteran acts. There’s a lot going on here, and dissecting this beast is quite exhaustive. I often neglect giving drummers props for outstanding performances, but I won’t be making that mistake with Daniel Emond. In fact, Emond is largely responsible for the album’s active and fluctuating nature. Song in, song out – between choruses, solos, bridges, intros and exits – Emond has no problem transitioning between head turning speed blasts and heart pounding thuds. For example, Emond leads the change on countless occasions in “Continue” as he moves from fast to casual, and makes for an impressive metal spectacle on the dynamic but simply titled “instrumental.” A quick glimpse in the lyric sleeve reveals a band breaking from the typical chorus-verse-chorus formula intent on making every moment count. Mindset largely grapples with moralistic (ie. “Cremations”) and personal (ie. “Oceans,” “Everist”) issues, all the while delivering a clear and discernable message thanks to vocalist Matthew Nichols’ oddly pronounced clarity. That being said, the band has yet to reach a point where particular moments and lines commit in memory. Despite enjoying the disc I can’t confidently throw back any great lines or even list a standout song since they’re so prone to bleeding into each other without terrible distinction. Despite the aforementioned tempo shifts, there is largely an air of sameness to track continuity. Even so, Mindset offers some authentic hardcore punk that should stylistically satisfy an increasingly critical audience. Those irked by the modern trend of Australian hardcore sounding predictably deep, dark, and guttural can find assurance knowing that there are still those in Melbourne taking a nod from the classics (read mid-80’s hardcore).
Rating: 3/5 – Review by: Cole Faulkner

PEE #47
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
Very scarcely, especially in more recent times, does an album impact a listener so instantaneously and with such vigour that it’s practically elevated into a memorable release and a true milestone of creative genius. With Melbourne’s quintet Mindset’s debut album ‘Midnight Sky’¸ the outfit has achieved this arduous yet tremendous feat. Combing the Melodic Hardcore brilliance of Miles Away circa ‘Consequences’ with A Day To Remember’s striking Mosh Metalcore parts and a slight element of Silverstein’s ‘When Broken Is Easily Fixed’ originality, Mindset have hammered this nail on the head. Opening track Lever really sets the pace beautifully for the debut album, but it’s the title track of the record Midnight Sky which shows how good this five-piece really can be. The transitions between their inspired sounds are nothing short of invigorating and it saddens this writer that I had not discovered Mindset earlier. Although their formula may seem somewhat unoriginal, they do shine with some more progressive elements, like with the track Teenage Ghosts. Incorporating a haunting Post Metal introduction with the song before leading into a disorientated yet clever Hardcore changeover which would definitely cause Massachusetts now sadly defunct Have Heart to remember the good times. ‘Midnight Sky’ does flow magnificently and it is very hard to fault with practically no filler, if Australia hasn’t taken note yet, something is wrong with our nation. The sky is the limit for Mindset and hopefully they receive the attention to which they are due.
Rating: 90 – Review by: Willy-O

PEE #47
MINDSET – Midnight Sky
This band’s debut self-titled release was and still is amazing. It feels like forever since that release came out, but it is evident that Mindset has been a band hard at work since. Considering the band formed originally in Tassie, back in 2006, relocated and reformed in Melbourne a couple of years later and more recently enduring some line-up changes and the ever popular hurdles local bands face; releasing a solid and exciting debut full length is a show of strength, integrity and determination. ‘Midnight Sky’ features ten huge tracks of punchy, melodic, dominant and assertive hardcore punk, some of the most impressive and catchy hardcore punk I have heard in a long time. Opening with the track ‘Lever’, it is everything you could ever ask for from this genre. It is driving, melodic, incredibly punchy and showcases Matthew Nichols intense and assertive vocals. Immediately, local bands such as Away From Now, Stand Defiant and Stolen Youth come to mind, as well as international big names such as Comeback Kid. Track 2 ‘Cremations’ bursts forth and continues a relentless barrage of amazingly catchy, yet brutal hardcore. This track is evidence of some growth and maturity Mindset has developed, as well as a new found intensity and aggression. It’s not until track 5 ‘Teenage Ghosts’ that the band actually pull back a few gears and slow things down moderately, but still with such a huge sound and melodic presence. The vocal delivery throughout this release is relentless; powerful and intimidating. Musically, the delivery is nothing short of perfection; every single track is superb and the track listing is faultless and with production from Sam Johnson (50 Lions, A Death In The Family), this release is the result of a flawless recipe. There is not one standout track; seriously they are all as amazing as the other. Here is a local band that have stood up and delivered such an intense and incredible release that it completely makes up for and fills the hardcore punk void left behind from the demise of great bands Stand Defiant, Mid Youth Crisis and Away From Now. Great packaging, great production, amazing music and a determined and strong local outfit can only spell so many great things to come.
Rating: 99 – Review by: John MEANtime

15 April 2011

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CAT #: PCD043
Recorded & Mixed by:
Sam Johnson @ Three Phase Studio
Mastered by: Alan Douches
Artwork by: Pete Pee

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