The Belgian garage punk quartet Mind Rays are back with their second album Course of Action, due via Swedish label PNKSLM Recordings on October 25. Returning two years after the release of their acclaimed debut LP Nerve Endings, which saw the band receive the attention of the likes of BrooklynVegan, The Line of Best Fit, DIY, GoldFlakePaint and more, the band’s offering up another collection of furious garage punk. Recording with Pieter-Paul Devos of Raketkanon and Kapitan Korsakov, the album is a lean, high tempo punk rock affair that’s imbued with a different kind of energy than Nerve Endings; it’s polished without being pristine, and carries with it a new kind of swagger that speaks to the four-piece’s sky-high confidence.
Mind Rays were born out of markedly different musical backgrounds; Gaston-Echeverria, for example, previously played post rock, whilst Adriaensens had never played electric guitar in any capacity before the group’s first jam. After the raw spark of their self-titled EP and the laying out of their punk rock blueprint that Nerve Endings represented, though, Course of Action is the sound of a band that has gelled spectacularly on the road beginning to kick things up a few gears. ‘Pristine Condition’ is an exercise in freewheeling riffery, whilst ‘Head Back’s urgent verses explode into a wild chorus in a manner reminiscent of post punk revivalists like Preoccupations or Iceage. For the most part, though, this is a record entirely in the band’s own psych-tinged image. “There are fewer outside influences on us on this album,” explains Adriaensens. “In the beginning, we needed some points of reference, whereas this time, we were asking how we wanted to sound as ourselves – we wanted to make our own work more unique. There’s a different chemistry to the songs, because all we wanted to do was work on improving the Mind Rays sound.”