The topic is psychedelic blues, and J.D. Simo is the man with the brown acid. Hypnotic wah, talking hollowbody guitars, and trippy drum patterns permeate an album that will change the equilibrium of any environment. Simo’s muse is that time and place when artists like B.B. King shared the bill with bands like Jefferson Airplane. He assembles harmonic infrastructure using elements of acoustic blues, Chicago blues, Northern Mississippi blues, and late-’60s San Francisco hippie rock.
Mind Control is filled to the brim with echo, reverb, stream-of-consciousness soloing, and drug-induced wailings about love, redemption, pain, and humanity. Simo’s ferocity jumps right out of the gate on “Go Away Satan,” a powerful track with expert wah, aggressive soloing, and emotional singing. His transcendent power-trio configuration yields density and space to support the narrative. Props to drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Adam Bednarik. “I’m In Love” is one of many one-chord wonders that sends the listener into the world of obsessive love while shrooming.
Simo gets serious when he whips out the slide for “Let Go.” It’s intense! “F***ed Up” delivers saturated, ripped-speaker fuzz with a sludgy aftertaste and hip, melodic breaks. This is inspired electric music.
This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.