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Active Minds - The Freedom of the Borough EP

Image of Active Minds - The Freedom of the Borough EP

$6.00

(Loony Tunes Records)
(UK)

Latest and greatest by these anarcho-hardcore legends. A couple melodic ones, a couple short/fast/loud ones, a couple raging hardcore thrash ones, a re-recording of their super-de-duper smash hit "Voice Your Opinion". Fans of the band will love it, not fans of the band will not love it.

Active Minds is a band that I didn't come to fully value and appreciate until more into my adulthood. I had some Active Minds records and I enjoyed them, but I didn't really place the same amount of value on their qualities that I do now. My youth was dominated by a lot of different musical periods (grindcore/noisecore/power violence, then record collecting/regional sounding punk music, then raw punk/d-beat, then pop-punk and power-pop....and that covers all the things I listen to as an adult hah) and Active Minds doesn't fit squarely into any of these, so they were not a high ranking band for me in my younger years.

It wasn't until I had heard thousands of records, released some of my own, played in a bunch of bands, traveled and toured, that the merits of Active Minds really stood out to me. A humble duo making humble music that never wavered in vision, coloring within the lines of their chosen expression but never worrying about what colors they used, never worrying about strict adherence to genre convention, just worrying about staying true to their own ideas and individuality. This is kinda the definition of "personality", a quality that I value so highly now after seeing a world so full of bands that lack it. As time went by, I saw trends come and go, ideas come and go, labels, bands, people, but always Active Minds made tasteful, straight-forward punk music that immediately and bluntly addresses the political topics of today, that put forward thoughts and feelings that contributed to the conversations we should be having in society today. And I came to feel that these simple qualities, are actually not all that simple, and are actually quite rare, especially over a long career. And I do think that the current trends of punk have deviated away from this sort of expression and it makes me value Active Minds all the more.

By my mid-20's I started to rediscover the brilliance of Active Minds. I started to appreciate more the straight-forward merit of writing good, memorable songs, in the same way that I've always appreciated the visceral emotional attack and atmosphere of raw punk/noisy shit/whatever. I started to understand how politics in punk can be meaningful and not meaningful, how that plays out in practice, and how that fits into my vision of "punk". Longevity and dedication became more important metrics to me. These are all things that Active Minds really exemplify.

Anyway, point is, great band, I'm a fan. =)