Stories We’ll Never Tell – Warped Minds EP Review
The old adage of “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is not lost on the lads from Warped Minds. No musical stone has been left unturned in this meticulously crafted, genre spanning debut.
Warped Minds first EP opens the throttle early with a driving ‘four on the floor’ beat from Conor Byrne on the opening track Brothers. The energy of this track is infectious and nearly claustrophobic with an excellent riff played in unison by guitarists Paul Downey and Conor Birkett and bassist Ciarán Berry. The chorus and hook are undeniably catchy and you will find yourself singing along on the second listen. There is a spicy guitar solo that fits well within the track while avoiding falling into the trap of being too self-serving to the axe-man.
The level of consideration shown to the music on this track is present on all four tracks of the EP – Warped Minds have a deep understanding of what makes a great song and the technical chops to pull it off!
…It is in this track that Warped Minds establish themselves as the full package; competent musicians and artful songwriters.
Where Brothers hits hard and fast, Moon takes a more subdued approach with a gradual build. The slap of dual Stratocaster guitars cut wonderfully through the mix and are met by a masterfully crafted bassline and drums that are so tight with the riff that they would find it hard to fit into any other song. The cohesion remains through the verse with Conor nailing the vocals. A detour through a reverb-drenched bridge section resolves tastefully into the chorus through some well-thought-out musical trickery. The lyrics of this song are smartly metaphorical and it is in this track that Warped Minds establish themselves as the full package; competent musicians and artful songwriters.
The first single of the EP to be released was Pen to Paper. The opening guitar riff is reminiscent of the music of Dreamcast-era Sonic the Hedgehog games and you’d be forgiven for grinning like an idiot (I sure did) as the lads absolutely tear it up. The track then takes a dive into early Foo Fighters territory as bassist/keyboardist Ciaran takes on vocal duties, supported by some tightly harmonised backing vocals and driving Grohl-sian rhythm. Warped Minds have hidden so many little musical easter eggs in this track, from Izzy-Stradlin levels of syncopation on the rhythm guitar (2:34!), to positively bouncy drum fills sprinkled generously throughout. Finally, if for some reason, your jaw doesn’t drop at the guitar solo then you need to get your ears checked – That is a LUSH TONE. There’s also a music video, linked below.
Low Hanging Tree is a perfect finale to an exceptionally strong first outing, comprising of a lyrically emotional first half and an instrumental tour de force that starts around the 3-minute mark with a building soundscape of guitars (and is that a banjo I hear in there?). A well-timed drum solo from Conor is used to introduce the final few bars and spectral vocals carry the track and the EP to its conclusion.
Through commanding control of their instruments and polished songwriting and arranging, Stories We’ll Never Tell will take you from the muddy fields of festivals gone by to the sticky floor of your local rock dive. There is no filler on this EP and as a result, you’ll probably want to go back and listen to it again and again.