Mental - Get An Oxygen Tank (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Get An Oxygen Tank (2003)

Bridge 9

The first thought that crossed my mind when I got this in the mail was "thank god, some creative cover art." I think we've all seen enough crowd shots/finger pointing covers to last each of us a lifetime. Mental takes their influence from early NYHC as well as early Boston hardcore, and they thankfully do it without any preaching.

The title of this album is fitting, considering you might need an oxygen tank after listening to the band fly through these songs with reckless abandon. This album lacks any sort of polish and pretty riffs; it makes up for this by hitting you over and over again. The songs mostly maintain a fast pace, and yet they don't run together, that's not easy. Really, the beauty of this album lies in its ugliness, if that makes any sense. Mental doesn't rely on anything fancy to propel their sound forward, rather, they simply rely on their own guts and drive, and this is what makes something that would have been just another run of the mill release into something really enjoyable. It is the intangibles that make this band special. This album doesn't have any unneeded mosh parts or obnoxious tough guy posturing, all of that would simply hinder the sound of this release.

Fans of early NYHC should really take note of this one, I'm sure you'll probably enjoy it. Above all else, this band is simply fun to listen to. I think a lot of their contemporaries have forgotten that people listen to music first and foremost to have a good time; it should be something you enjoy. Rather than so many bands who put on their emotions and anger like they put on their From Autumn To Ashes shirts and girl pants, Mental play with the kind of sincerity and passion that cannot be imitated.