United States Of Mind - Silver Step Child


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
United States Of Mind - Silver Step Child
Nightmare Records - 2000
By Nigel

I must admit that when I was told that the first CD I would be reviewing for Ultimate Metal would be by a band I had never heard of, I was predictably indifferent. I had been told that I would love this CD, but having been told this numerous times and ending up disappointed, I decided not to get my hopes up too high. Instead of hearing what I thought would be a run-of-the-mill rock band with the occasional good hook and catch chorus, however, I was surprised – nay, delighted – to hear one of the most impressive new acts I’ve heard in quite a while.
United States of Mind (or USM, as they’re known throughout the bio and liner-notes) consists of vocalist/bassist/songwriter Tony Ritchie, guitarist Pete Southern and drummer Lionel Hicks, who also takes care of the production duties. Basically a rock band, but bordering on metal on numerous occasions, USM show with Silver Step Child that they have talent to burn. This is evident from the opening tracks, “Beneath The Low” and the excellent title tune.

If there’s one thing the majority of the songs on the album have in common, it’s a great chorus, and one of the best examples of this is “The Time Of Our Lives” – indeed, I found myself singing along to it on my very first listen, which must be a good sign. Tony Ritchie doesn’t display a broad vocal range, but he’s a great singer and blends well with Ivan Norris (credited for “additional backing vocals”) throughout the album.

I don’t know much – anything - about this band, but I’m going to keep my ear to the ground for any and all information on them I can find (their website, http://www.unitedstatesofmind.co.uk, was down at the time of writing). This is great stuff, all the more so because my expectations weren’t high. I’ll always have an open mind about new acts from now on, though, because I don’t want to let the chance of hearing another album like this to slip through my fingers.