Lift the Medium like to straddle things, whether it be the line between rock and metal or the gap between the early 2000’s and the late 90’s. They claim to draw on a variety of inspirations, ranging from Elton John to Pantera which solidifies just how hard this band sits on fences. But can indecision be a virtue? Probably not.
Bear with me on this one, Mastermind is the blueprint for what a collaboration between Volbeat, Bullet for my Valentine, Nickelback, and Avril Lavigne might sound like. Ten years ago I could have imagined several tracks being played to death on radio, and that is exactly Mastermind’s main issue. Lift the Medium craft a clean and polished sound which makes them easy to listen to, but hard to get lost in. The band, being only three years old, has yet to establish an identity; although this is to be expected for such a young band, being faceless can also be crippling. There is nothing on the album that I haven’t heard before, with used riffs, tired percussion, and lyrics that Lift the Mediumstick like used tape. A handful of the tracks are engaging, but the majority get lost in the mix and fail to impact.
Lift the Medium are capable of a polished and smooth performance, but their concepts and ideas need some work. Mastermind stands as a testament to the dangers of playing it safe and not stepping outside of the comfort zone. They have the potential to produce something amazing (“The People” was awesome) but this effort doesn’t reach very high. With a little creative spice, the band could be one to keep an ear out for, but with their current performance they just drift past.