The sound of Wicked Minds is heavy and dynamic with obvious hints from Uriah Heep along Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster and High Tide. But Wicked Minds is more than just a derivative, they are good and experienced musicians who can write good and elaborate compositions, from dreamy and mellow with warm vocals, flute and acoustic guitar to harder-edged and bombastic with fiery, often biting and wah-wah drenched guitar and floods of Hammond organ. Also interesting is the pleasant integration of vintage keyboards like the Solina string-ensemble, Fender Rhodes piano, Minimoog synthesizer and even Mellotron. This adds an extra dimension to their sound and makes it worth listening for not only the hardrock and metal fans.
The Modey Lemon's Phil Boyd (guitars, Moogs, vocals) and Paul Quattrone (drums) invited Jason Kirker to join the band on bass and keys after he produced Thunder + Lightning. But that's not the only change on 2005's Curious City. In the band's earlier work, Boyd sang in a slithering rasp that matched Modey's blues-punk skuzz ably, if only satisfactorily. But on City his suddenly clearer vocals are the key hinge to mounting blasts of hellacious Moog noise and weird melodies that slink from under the belly of classic rock & roll. (On Curious they're weird even when quiet, as the downcast Animals redux "Countries" proves.) The background of "Fingers, Drains" warbles in heat and melting instrument noises, and Boyd's vocal on it is downright sultry. Meanwhile "Sleep Walkers" is some of the most efficient music Modey Lemon's ever made; it sounds like a lost Golden Earring B-side with its throbbing bass and insistent drum clap.