“Joey (Ramone) would mention The Ancients when writers would ask him what new bands he was listening to. He would wear his Ancients tee shirt. Joey was The Ancients’ number one fan and he did all he could do…… - (excerpt from “Wake Me When It’s Over” by Rob Sacher).
Fred Schreck, the one-of-a-kind vocalist from the Ancients-Chicago Tribune
MIND is a long time coming.
Originally intended to be the follow up and next step to a well-received first Ancients album released in 1991, Lead vocalist Fred Schreck (The Ancients, Crush, Satellite Paradiso) and young producer and composer Morgan Visconti (solo artist, composer and son of the renowned T.Rex/Bowie producer) decided to go into Morgan’s studio in midtown NYC in the summer of '93 and never emerge until they recorded the album that they both wanted to hear.
With the help of former Crush bandmate Paul Ferguson (Killing Joke) and a few other good friends, they emerged a couple of years later (with some bathroom breaks, meals and day jobs in between takes) with a collection of songs that they were both incredibly proud of.
At the end of this period, however, the personal lives of the two friends and collaborators were taking them each in very different directions.
Schreck, having pounded the NY pavement for far too long made a decision to leave the city for the green grass of Nashville. Completely transforming his identity to front the regionally lauded alternative country band The Billygoats. There, he was abruptly taken hostage by a beautiful Southern girl and remains there to this day with his wonderful wife and teenaged daughter. Most recently, Fred was asked to revisit his more ethereal days and is now the lead vocalist/lyricist of Satellite Paradiso, an all-star project conceived by John Ashton of the Psychedelic Furs.
Visconti was pulled even more into New York’s pulse. His gifts and talents led him to the Mad Men of ad music and he became one of the industry’s leading composers and producers. Aside from his formidable career in that venue, Morgan has produced various soundtracks, produced a myriad of other acts and released his first solo album, “Ride” to impeccable reviews.
Schreck and Visconti remained close friends over the ensuing years.
Individually and as a pair, they had always come back to this record.
This gem in a box that had never really been seen (nor heard).
Here is the place.
Now is the time.
The Ancients. Mind.
Here is some of what you’ll hear:
“Dope”, the first track, has shades of old prog rock with “80’s Goth mixed in for good measure. It’s like the pop song King Crimson never wrote. Visconti’s superb bass line provides as much to the tune as the haunting, lyric absent chorus.
On “Things Fall Apart” a wonderfully lush, hypnotic track provides the perfect foundation for Schreck’s poignant lyrics and soaring melody. “Love’s surviving just beyond our cages/But, faint at heart, things fall apart again”.
Watch the official video for “Things Fall Apart” here - https://youtu.be/I_qaeIuOOk0
“Circa 1977” is a lust filled, techno fueled powerhouse that is sure to appeal to the most ardent fans of everyone from Depeche Mode to Ministry. This is where Visconti proves his love for the genre, while grabbing the production baton from his notable Dad, with his own confidence and purpose. Jesus & Mary Chain meets Berlin trilogy Bowie.
The title track “Mind” is a moody, melodic, yet funky little number. Groove supplied by the masterful Big Paul Ferguson by way of Hot Chocolate.
Grabbing the banana in the “spirit” of Tom Jones, “Spirit” is an electro charged lounge song. “Don’t shake your spirit down” shouts the chorus, fueled by the dynamic backing vocals of the duo of Diva Grey and Robin Clark (the very same tandem that propelled Bowie’s ‘Young Americans”).
And “The Physical”, a progressive, heart pounding epic.
Here, Visconti lays the foundation with his low end (this time on Chapman Stick) as the dynamic shifts from creepy to bombastic. “Your apprehension, understandable. But your mind is so expandable”. It builds to a bone crushing crescendo.
There are 8 other unique and powerful songs on this record.
Every one executed with genuine fire and emotion.
Every one with unique perspective.
It is truly a satisfying musical journey.