After 3 years The Internet are back with ‘Hive Mind’
After 3 years and a lot of solo projects, the funky soul band from the enormous Odd Future collective is back with a new release. “Hive Mind” is the band’s 4th studio album and sees the young musicians in a much more uniform and confident light, as they deliver some of the grooviest, funkiest and smoothest material of their relatively short discography.
Originally conceived as an electro-soul duo by lead singer and audio engineer Syd and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Martin in 2011, as one of the many projects associated with Tyler, The Creator’s Odd Future collective. The band has since expanded, at one point even including Jameel Bruner who is a brother to bassist-extraordinaire Thundercat, and now is a fivesome of skilled musical minds. Their 2015 release “Ego Death" received a lot of praise and acclaim, and is the first album to feature the young, up-and-coming guitarist and producer Steve Lacy.
The new album boasts 13 songs that all feel very connected and consistent. The production has improved drastically, the instrumentals have a lot more flavor to them and Syd sounds more confident than she has in the past. Lacy also joins her as a vocalist on this album in a few spots. The singles "Roll (Burbank Funk)”, “La Di Da” and “Come Over”, together with the opener “Come Together” make such a strong first impression, with catchy hooks, incredible basslines and a great vibe overall. Syd sounds as flirtatious as ever on tracks such as “Stay the Night” and “Mood”, where she delivers subtle, yet captivating hooks and lyrics to her lover that makes the listener want to stick around for the
entire duration of the record without a complaint.
The very comforting and smooth song “It Gets Better (With Time)” is one of the most memorable and catchy songs on the album, full of beautiful arrangements and Syd’s always impressive falsetto. The joint track “Next Time/Humble Pie” is quite interesting in its own right, clearly boasting two different song ideas, but still carrying them out effectively. The two closing tracks feature Lacy and Syd respectively and are woven with mantras repeated by each singer. “Beat Goes On” is a nice build-up to the incredibly sensual and satisfying “Hold On” delivered in a soft and vulnerable way.
The tracks “Look What U Started”, “Bravo” and “Wanna Be” are not the most immediate and memorable, but certainly don’t weigh this album down in any way, as the group is not one of those bands with arena-packing choruses, dramatic instrumentals or iconic evergreen hits, which seems to work perfectly for The Internet. The only problem to be had with this album is the drum production in certain tracks, as the sampled and treble-y snares tend to feel to skeletal for the smooth and atmospheric vibes of the guitars, synths, and basslines. It may be the band’s aesthetic, but it seems to hurt the quality of some songs.
Overall, “Hive Mind” is a fantastic release, and probably the strongest one yet for the LA funksters. While not as “orgasmic” as similar releases in this style such as “Flower Boy” or “Isolation”, it is an album that keeps your attention in a very relaxed way. It’s sexy, appealing and most of all gives good vibes, which is perfect for either a summer album or an intimate playlist for steamy summer nights.