I know very little about Wales, but if the new Mines album is anything to go by, it doesn’t seem like the most pleasant or easy going of places. No, if it’s like Your Ever Failing Happiness, it’s a dark and jarring experience. Recorded in late 2020 in a dilapidated mansion, it reflects upon the harder issues of life like love, failure, hope, and depression. It’s out today, 4th March, through Trepanation Recordings.
No Other Way is a great lead into that atmosphere; an uncomfortable noise-rock experience with visceral vocals, unseemly murk coating each atonal melody and a sludgy undertone of bass keeping everything a little grimy. There’s a little creeping psychedelia to Inadequate And Vulnerable, where you get a definite dose of Kyuss if they had a serious heroin problem rather than smoking weed. It feels like it’s building to something, a climax of sorts, before it darkly fades into oblivion with a tribal beat and cold clean guitar.
Negotiable Affection does the same, Mines proving to be experts in the art of building tensions to an inevitable eruption of catharsis. Sinister, expertly woven melody lurks beneath impassioned howls and a feel of true hopelessness. Your Pain Will Only Get Worse is much more driving, reminding me a little of Unsane or Godhunter, but with a much darker and more savage execution. In a song like this, you truly appreciate the quieter moments, the liminal spaces in between where the emotions can breathe, the quiet enhances the rage. As it reaches its grinding, spiralling crescendo there is a peak of sheer discomfort within, sounds unlike which I have ever heard.
Your Ever Failing Happiness is a work of music that will challenge, inspire and discomfort you in equal measure…
Closing with All The Best, Mines have really gone all out here to create something dissonant, angry and multi-layered. Imagine Neurosis if they were homeless, ISIS if bereft of glistening guitar, or EyeHateGod if they were more introspective than nihilistic. As before, the song builds to a crescendo, but it hits that peak with throat shredding screams and groaning guitar fury, before descending to this funereal droning dirge that feels like an exhalation, almost becoming a sense of peace.
Sometimes Mines make themselves easy to describe, at others it is impossible to quantify just exactly what it is that makes them feel so alien. All I know is that Your Ever Failing Happiness is a work of music that will challenge, inspire and discomfort you in equal measure. And if that isn’t something to applaud then I’m not sure what is.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson