This past March, music collective The New Regime released its latest album Mind, Body & Soul to the masses. Formed by Ilan Rubin (Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves), the group has crafted in its new 16-song album, a presentation that is another of this year’s biggest surprises. With musical arrangements that will appeal to fans of acts, such as Modest Mouse, The Killers, Fitz and the Tantrums, and other similar acts, and lyrics that will reach just as many fans, if not more, the album proves to be a strong return for the group. That is proven in part in the form of ‘Knocking Down Your Door.’ It will be addressed shortly. ‘A Way To Feel Again,’ the record’s opener, is another way in which the album shows its strength. It will be addressed a little later. ‘Turning a Blind Eye,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is one more example of what makes Mind, Body & Soul stand out. When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the hour-long album proves to be a welcome return for The New Regime.
The new Regime’s new album Mind, Body & Soul is one of this year’s most surprising new albums. Released March 6 through Elitist Enterprises LLC, the album came with little major mainstream support. Interestingly enough, the album proves through its musical and lyrical content that it is deserving of mainstream support. Those statements are supported in part in the song ‘Knocking Down Your Door.’ The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Knocking Down Your Door’ is a catchy, guitar-driven work that presents a touch of a indie pop vibe that also adds in a touch of garage punk ever so slightly. That is evident in the vocals, drums and guitar work. The arrangement in whole makes the song an instant hit for the group if it has not already been used as a single. The up-tempo arrangement and the energy that it exudes works well to help establish and translate the message delivered in the song’s lyrical theme.
Looking through the song’s lyrical theme, it comes across (at least to this critic), as being one of those familiar social commentaries about where the world stands. That is inferred as Rubin sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Wanna lend a hand/Your words have no aftermath/Hold on to the master plan/I gotta keep moving down my only path/over and over again/I try to shake you to the core/Over and over again/You don’t even know that you could have more/How many time can you say that you are right/When you are so wrong/The voices inside have a way of turning weak to strong.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “The status quo has left me wanting more/Give me what you got/And I’ll be right here knocking down your door/Taking what I want/Don’t you wanna understand/Why everybody holds their head in their hands/Reaching from the quickest sand/They’re feeling they don’t have a leg or two on which to stand.’ He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “I’ll never give it a rest/Not till you’ve fallen from your throne in the unknown/And I’ll give it my best/Until you’re broken and alone.” This all comes across as someone being addressed who just doesn’t get it; someone who is in his/her own world, almost a narcissistic personality. There are so many people out there like the one who is seemingly being addressed here. To that end, if what has been interpreted here is correct, then it is a useful song to help people dealing with just that type of personality ease tensions cause by said person(s). Keeping this in mind, this is just one of the songs that serves to show the strength of this record. ‘A Way To Feel Again’ is another standout addition to the album.
‘A Way To Feel Again’ presents another indie-pop sound in its arrangement. What’s important to note here is that this arrangement, which is based in its electronics and keyboards, is quite unlike that of ‘Knocking Down Your Door.’ This arrangement has more of an electro-indie pop vibe that is more akin to perhaps The Killers than other acts. There is a certain sense about the song that is so catchy ad infectious. It makes the song one of the album’s most notable arrangements. The energy in this arrangement and its overall instrumentation builds a strong foundation for the song overall. The song’s lyrics build on that foundation, making the song even more notable.
The lyrical content featured in ‘A Way To Feel Again’ will engage listeners just as much as its musical counterpart. That is because of the metaphorical nature of the lyrics’ presentation. Rubin sings in the song’s lead verse, “I walk out on the street/There’s no one for me to meet/I keep looking around/I don’t hear a sound/Where has everyone gone/They’re everywhere and nowhere at once/The connection is gone/It’s fading from us with a numbing touch.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Throw me a line/Reach from the decline/I’m looking for a way to feel again/Look, open those eyes/Detached and paralyzed/I’m looking for a way to feel again/A way to feel again.” Rubin adds in the song’s verse, which is approached twice, “All we do is talk and talk and talk/For miles and miles/Every word in single file/I forget the meaning of your smile.” This interpretation is likely wrong (hopefully not), but this comes across as perhaps a statement about what has happened to the world in terms of how depersonalized and dehumanized — for lack of better wording — it has become. This is inferred with the mention of people being everywhere and nowhere at once, and the note of people talking “for miles…in single file.” That mention of the “flicker of a screen” adds more to the argument that this seems to be a song about what has happened to the world as a result of smart phones and how disconnected we have really become. If in fact that is the message in this song, it’s not the first time that such a topic has been addressed and likely won’t be the last. Regardless, it is still a message that bears repeating in hopes that one day people will get said message and change things. It makes this song clearly one more strong point in this record. It is not the last of the album’s most notable works. ‘Turning A Blind Eye’ is another notable addition to the record.
‘Turning A Blind Eye’ presents its own unique indie-garage rock sound through its fuzzed guitars, steady time keeping and production with the vocals and overall instrumentation. The overall sound and approach lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Royal Blood and other similar acts, which is a good thing. Even with that comparison, the song still boasts its own sound that, once again, is engaging and entertaining in its own right. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content adds to that engagement and entertainment.
Rubin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Where can I go/Who can I be/When this is over/We’ve only been the shadow in your lights/You never know/You’ve never seen as the beholder/A skeleton moves to the sound of spite.” He adds in the song’s chorus, “So tell me everyone will be okay/Don’t tell me everyone will find their way/We’re gonna put it back and leave that way/And that’s the way/This will all be over/No more turning a blind eye/’Cause what you see is real/No more turning a blind eye to what we think and feel.” Rubin continues in the song’s second verse, “Now have you heard/The bitter word/From the destroyer/Might wanna hide because I’m coming through/What can you do/What can you say/Now that it’s over/We broke the prism of your limited view.” This is an interesting overall statement. The mention of him (the destroyer?) coming through and something being over, maybe is a reference to a change in some sort of personal relationship with someone, not necessarily romantic, obviously. The note of breaking “the prism of your limited view” would seem to allude to perhaps someone forcing another to change how he/she sees things after that lead person stepped up and became his/her own person. Once more, that is just this critic’s own interpretation. Hopefully it is somewhere close to being correct. Regardless, it is certain to lead to plenty of discussion. Coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make the song another strong addition to this album. When it is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s works, the record in whole proves itself to be named one of this year’s top new independent albums.
The New Regime’s new album Heart, Mind, Body & Soul is a positive new offering from the group. That is due to musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the record. All three of the songs discussed here support the noted statements, too. When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, they make the whole of this LP a positive “new” addition to this year’s field of new independent albums. The album is available now. More information on Heart, Mind, Body & Soul is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.