144. Mindsize – Poor Old Lu

MINDSIZE (1993)

Poor Old Lu

One of the most influential and important bands of the 1990’s never really received all the recognition they clearly deserved. Check that: They didn’t reserve anywhere near the recognition they deserved. Borrowing  a line from CS Lewis “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” the Seattle based quartet created some of the most significant and original music in CCM during their tenure. And no one album encapsulated that important edge quite like Mindsize.

The teens that made up the band gave their demo to Randy Stonehill who passed it along to Terry Taylor. Taylor got it into the hands of Mike MacLane at Frontline Records who went after the band immediately. I remember Mike playing the demo for me in his office and I kept bugging him, asking when would the album be coming out!

Part grunge, part alternative, part funk and all original and exceptional. From the riff to the last strum the band, with some creative production direction by Terry Scott Taylor, created a debut unlike any other from that era save Mortal’s debut. Someone still has to explain to me how a song like “All Pretty For the TV” can not make a serious ripple on college radio. Its retro funky grooves and alternative driven chorus are the stuff heroes are made of.

Aaron Sprinkle guitar ranges from sleek and sexy to fuzzy and rough depending on the mood of the tune. Most often there’s a funky fuzz that dominates the lyrics of doubt, questions and searching. Christianese is limited as the songs (written by mere teenagers at the time) offer more insight than many of their contemporaries without the normal jargon associated with the genre.

Is there a better and more fuzzy base line than the one found on “In Love With the Greenery?” The bass is so low at times it is felt more than heard. Utterly brilliant and fearless. “Sometimes Cry” is another song that deserved a wider hearing. Sprinkles weaving and swirling guitar drives one of the best chorus hooks on the entire album.

Possibly the finest song on the album and in the entire Poor Old Lu catalog is “Cruciality.” The soulful groove and beautiful melody just works against the grungy guitar and plodding bass. Brilliant songwriting and execution.

It is amazing that when one considers a good part of the group was still in their late teens that Taylor’s influence was not overpowering and they maintained their musical vision. This helped them create several more great albums and allowed them to be one of the great bands of the 90’s.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I still prefer Sin, their second effort, but don’t begrudge anyone placing this one higher. Especially as this one really introduced the band to the Christian audience at large.

  2. Dave H
    April 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Shawn…I agree. Sin is on my all time Frontline Top Ten.

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