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MIND FURNITURE

Crossover Prog • United States


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Mind Furniture biography
US band MIND FURNITURE was formed sometime around 1996, and appears to have had a fluent line-up to date. The quartet of Greg Miller (drums), Brett Barnett (keyboards, vocals), Paul Harrison (bass) and Bill Estes (guitars) would appear to make out the core of this band project, and some may also know drummer Miller from another band: Metaphor.

In the 15 odd years since their formation, Mind Furniture have two productions to their name: The End of Days appeared in 2000, and was a self released album. Seven years later they were ready with their sophomore effort Hoop of Flame, this time around the CD was issued by French progressive rock specialist label Musea Records. Apart from that little is known about this US act, and their current status is currently unknown.

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MIND FURNITURE discography


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MIND FURNITURE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 7 ratings
The End of Days
2000
3.07 | 13 ratings
Hoop of Flame
2007
3.86 | 9 ratings
An Illustrated Map of the Heart
2021

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MIND FURNITURE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 An Illustrated Map of the Heart by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.86 | 9 ratings

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An Illustrated Map of the Heart
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Is there a way to overcome the Mountains Of Resentment? For some reason one may say that MIND FURNITURE are a side project of the band Metaphor. Yep, actually you will find three members from this band in place here, speaking of Jim Anderson (bass, guitar), Greg Miller (drums), and John Mabry (vocals). But it would not make much sense to copycat the same musical intention once again under another moniker. And so keyboarder Brett Barnett is aboard too, who makes a difference of course. And then they have invited not less than seven additional guitarists for the recordings. Hence the songs selected for this collection are sounding in another way indeed, yep, because they are tending towards a more popular rock attitude in general.

Their third effort is a concept album respectively rock opera, dealing with the complete arc of a love affair. Eh, warning, this is not for the squeamish ... okay, the beautiful detailed cover picture developed by Carol Bierach complements in any case. Music-wise here we have a pleasant listening source for melodic prog music lovers, dedicated to those who don't want to have it too complex. Underneath The World comes with the first memorable refrain. Except For Last Tuesday showcases opulent string arrangements contributed by Barnett. The shuffle I Hate The Way You Make Me Feel is worked out with support by the complete Barrelhouse Jazz Band, plus female vocals by Anne Feinsod.

Broken heart, or broken nose? '... I Heard The Bones Snap ...' the straightforward rocking I Broke It featuring another catchy refrain, and an emotional psychedelic/ambient middle part. 'It's lonely here in the future, I got a million friends online, but no one knows I'm crying, unless I post it ...' The superbly melodic and multi-faceted Here In The Future picks up some common contemporary insufficiency, My conclusion is that 'An Illustrated Map Of The Heart' is made of very solid art rock songs, provided with constant quality concerning technical and compositional skills. And this over the course of more than 70 minutes ... wait, even permanently increasing with every further track. You definitely can sense the enthusiasm to work out engaging music, this alongside with a well thought out concept. Thank you for that!

 An Illustrated Map of the Heart by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.86 | 9 ratings

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An Illustrated Map of the Heart
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars MIND FURNITURE American group formed around 1996 seeming to have had a fluid line-up to this day. 15 years, a 2nd album produced by Musea hold on and a 3rd "Illustrated Heart Card" in the Crossover tote style! Endless guitar solos, reminiscences of bygone days. A concept album, a rock opera as read here and there. A love story starting from loneliness to arrive at happiness. Note that the drummer played some time on METAPHOR, that the signature of this group leaves on the Mellotron, the many changes of rhythm and the solos of different guitarists; that makes a better musical definition than to quote YES, GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON, JETHRO TULL, CAMEL, BOSTON, DIRE STRAITS, The FLOWER KINGS or ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. OK, let's go :

"Ride by Myself" melodic piano intro time to get going; a bit of DIRE STRAITS for the ambient sound; I find there the melodic country side with a pop-rock ballad like TELEPHONE or CAPDEVIELLE which holds in suspense until the final fair sound. "Underneath the World" follows on to an AOR rock sound, punctuated with prog break, a plaintive solo on the guitar, which is harder to name given the multitude of guests; in short, a dreamlike twirling solo stretching and catching. "Take Out an Ad" which reminds me of FRANCK CARDUCCI for the accumulation of genres in a short time; the distinctive voice, the organ, the bass, the engaged rhythm set off on a varied, convoluted rock melting pot; a flute and a JETHRO TULL guitar sound and it goes even further, retro but not vintage I'm lost. "Now That the Rush Has Come" complex title in the same vein with an Andalusian arpeggio halfway through, a beautiful finish but too short. "Can't Find My Heart" majestic intro that starts off with a languid tune, a rock ballad with a country-rock connotation, from the AOR where guitar solos punctuate the sound of the keyboards; a symphonic, martial, austere tone.

"Someone Tell Me Who I Am" on a crescendo with orchestration bordering on the symphonic just by the percussions and this astonishing trumpet-synth; a monolithic track in which a torrent of guitaristic lava flows, melting the rare incredulous still in doubt at this moment of listening.

"Except for Last Tuesday" superb intro with thunderstorm and rumbling bass, two "MATRIX" notes, musical adrenaline rush on this short track with obvious symphonic spleen, my best as my 4 year old son says or the musical slap, as you want. "I Hate the Way You Make Me Feel" on a jazzy Charleston version of the time when everything was fun; Anne's voice gives a plus, eyes on the languid side of our Patricia KAAS, gives a festive air where trumpet, clarinet and piano play the gig. "I Broke It" scared howling dog? Bass for a hellish riff, heavy anyway; a heady chorus, an enlightened aerial solo, good three guitarists who share this moment for the second best track in my opinion, the aggressive nervous side having to be for something. "Here in the Future" continues with such a lofty tune, the more expressive voice, the instruments, the KING CRIMSON-style rhythm all of a sudden, everything starts with good old American rock long before knowing if the prog was still alive or definitely dead; good that deposits serious; the PINK FLOYD finale is too obvious but is a good reminder that prog has interfered in different musical genres; in short, the 3rd slap, the cheek begins to redden. "I Have Known Real Love" rock-country-rhythmic and fruity ballad where the instruments continue to let loose; it's softer but well balanced with the flavor of a BOSTON.

MIND FURNITURE therefore releases a musical slap in two parts; a fairly agreed start, consensual as we often say, and a second part much richer in emotion and notes; good compositions and dithyrambic arrangements well orchestrated in which the four outstanding musketeers show that they have bathed well in the musical atmosphere of the last decades. Infusing a dramatic then melodious tune then more aggressive towards the end they result in an engaging album that is worth more than listening. Like what progressive wonders are hidden everywhere with all these musicians.

 The End of Days by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.03 | 7 ratings

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The End of Days
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A minor entry among the US bands participating in the Prog revival of the country, Mind Furniture came from San Francisco Bay Area, propably from Redwood City, and featured a 5-piece line-up with Rick Andersen on bass, Brett Barnett and Evan Langert on vocals/keyboards, Greg Miller on drums and Scott Bullerwell on guitars.For their first album ''The End of Days'' though they were helped also by Bill Estes, Robert Shanney and Chris Ogburn (of Puppet Show fame), all playing lead guitars and Paul Harrison on bass.This was released as a private press in 2000.

The sound of Mind Furniture was a mixed bag of Classic Rock, light AOR and Progressive Rock with plenty of melodic vocals but also strong instrumental sufficiency, close to the style of STENCIL FOREST.Actually the short ones are rather straightforward with good dual guitar moves, commercial vocals, nice solos and a fair amount of keyboard workouts, pretty typical US Heavy/Classic Rock in accesible format but quite enjoyable.The longer ones are a whole another story.While the vocal parts sound pretty similar to the previous tracks with an easy-going flavor, the instrumental passages are really competitive and demanding, including some great breaks, lots of changing themes and a a strong array of keyboard mannerisms.The rather Neo Prog-ish synth waves are supported by some nice surprises like the grandiose church organ themes and series of good keyboards passages of something that appears to be either a Mellotron or an string synth, nevertheless having a deep inspiration.Even some sung-parts are sounding like the lighter side of ECHOLYN, while these tracks breeze a fresh air of pleasant feelings with their overall structure.

A very decent release overall.Not very complex but not awfully catchy either, ''The End of Days'' keeps a good balance between more accesible tunes and proggier, long arrangements, that can satisfy even an experienced ear.Recommended.

 Hoop of Flame by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.07 | 13 ratings

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Hoop of Flame
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars When I listen to this album I get a definite Kansas vibe. The songs are primarily midwestern U.S. rock, with a hint of country, and, like early Kansas, symphonic prog flourishes to sweeten it up. Also, like Kansas, there seems to be a tendency towards Native American themes, both musically and lyrically. Vocally, singer John Mabry often sounds quite a lot like Rick Davies of Supertramp.

While there is that strong Kansas similarity, Mind Furniture lacks that dazzling explosiveness that Kansas often displayed on their earlier albums. But this album is much closer to those than the dismal 1980's Kansas catalogue.

It's a decent album, but certainly not outstanding.

 Hoop of Flame by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.07 | 13 ratings

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Hoop of Flame
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

2 stars 2.5 to be honest

Some months ago we received a suggestion to add MIND FURNITURE to Symphonic Prog, after listening their debut The End of Days, I was in doubts between Symphonic and Eclectic, but at the end they were accepted by Crossover, a decision that puzzled me at first, because heard little (if any) mainstream influences. Now that I bought Hoop of Flame , can't agree more with the sub-genre selected as home for MIND FURNITURE.

Hoop of Flame is divided in two 5 parts epics, the first one called "The Trial" is opened by The Summons, a song that starts promising with an organ intro that gave me hopes of being in front of a Prog masterpiece, but after the voice and later the drums entered, it morphed into a Rock song without pretensions. I won't say it's bad, because the guitar work by Bill Estes is excellent and the atmosphere created by the organ also, but this is not Prog, in my opinion a very good Hard Rock song with a couple of proggy moments, provided mostly by Brett Barnett and his organ...Good but not outstanding.

The Prosecution starts with a Blues intro, the guitar bass and drums are impeccable, but the vocals by John Mabry, are starting to bore me a bit. Although he has a nice vocal range, the lack of variations and modulation makes him predictable. Blues, not Prog.

The Outcry is recognizable by it's almost military percussion intro, that keeps the listener in expectation for what could come later, but sadly nothing impressing comes, despite the good choirs and a couple of nice arrangements, the song flows without any strong variation until the end.

The Defense starts as an incredibly weak ballad with vocals that seem out of tune, but around the mark of the 1.25 minutes, the organ in the vein of URIAH HEEP provide some new life to the song, sadly not enough to save the listener from boredom, luckily only lasts 2.35 minutes

The first epic ends with The Verdict, which IMO is the best of the 5 pats, the blending of cello and acoustic guitar is extremely beautiful and the synths provide an oneiric atmosphere that reminds me of PINK FLOYD with a Flemish touch....My question is Why couldn't this guys waited until the epic is ending to give us such a beautiful and atmospheric track?

The second epic "Hoop of Flame" starts with Shiva (Part I), and again they become soporiferous, despite the try to repeat the formula of The Verdict, they fail terribly, because the track is extremely boring, the funny thing is that the vocals remind more and more of Jon Bon Jovi. On the other hand, and without being amazing Soon to be Gone is an interesting song, because the bad leaves the safe path and have interesting changes and assume risks, the tune is beautiful, and the arrangements are outstanding.

Sadly in Between Two Voids they seem to looses the path again. The album was becoming dark and atmospheric with some interesting moments, but this song is a catchy poppy track with keys that remind me of 80's bands as SURVIVOR or EUROPE.

Glimpse of a Chance starts melancholic and promising, but this guys manage to ruin it with another metamorphosis towards POP, the synths sound dated and only the piano moments give some hope, but again not enough.

The album ends with Shiva (Part II) that rescues the spirit of the 80's AOR bands, simply out of place and has no relation wit the first part, again only the organ can be rescued.

In order to rate an album, I have created my own standards, in the case of three stars, the perfect example is ELP's debut, so the question I have to ask myself is Can this album be considered as good as ELP's debut? The answer is no, so I have to go lower. Being an average album the perfect rating would be 2.5 stars, but being impossible in our system,. have to go with 2 stars.

Due to the quality of the musicians and some interesting moments, I will wait for their next release hoping that MIND FURNITURE are able to find their natural path and release a great album, because I believe they can..

 The End of Days by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.03 | 7 ratings

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The End of Days
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A difficult nut to crack, this one.

This US band has so far released two albums. This is their debut album and one I find difficult to pidgeon hole.

The music here is a mix of indie rock, hard rock and a Bad Company copy. Most of the first songs sounds like Bad Company at least. Then the vocals take a dive into indie rock too. On the top of that, there is also a lot of symphonic prog and neo prog here too. Neo prog in the vein of the new Marillion post Fish is a good description too. In short, I am running out of words to describe this album.

The music is competent enough with a lot of small, interesting details. I like them best when their sound is taking a detour into classic 1970s rock and in particular; Bad Company. But the neo prog here is very good too.

The vocalist is superb and so is the musicians. Both when they are in heavy prog mode and in their more indie rock style.

With the exception of the rather short Breakdown of the Heart, there is no really great songs here either. The songs are rather long and interesting. But not great. This is a good debut album though from a band which combines a lot of genres into one album. I cannot really pidgeon hole this band at all based on this album. A strange album, it is.

3 stars

 Hoop of Flame by MIND FURNITURE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.07 | 13 ratings

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Hoop of Flame
Mind Furniture Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Not an easy album to get into, this sophomore release by US-based outfit Mind Furniture.

Two epic compositions divided into 5 parts each kind of makes you expect something epic and majestic in either prog metal or symphonic prog rock territories; and although there are quite a few elements of the latter here this release is by no means a symphonic release as such.

Instead, these guys are all over the place in terms of musical styles - or at least foundations, for these tunes. Influences from Rush can be heard throughout, especially in the guitarwork, with melodic slightly staccato riff patterns that at times have a slight funky edge to them. There are also other tunes with layered guitarwork, combining acoustic guitars with hard rock riffs in a manner quite like Uriah Heep - a similarity that becomes even more obvious due to the use of organ in these compositions. Other tunes are more mellow, with dampened guitars and atmospheric, floating synths and keyboards; symphonic rock quite close to the neo progressive movement from the 80's.

It's a good release if your musical tastes encompass all of these stylistic wanderings - compelling tunes strong on mood and atmosphere.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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