The Taxmen bring a classic 00’s & 90’s pop rock vibe with killer guitar work and really smooth vocals to the world with their debut album, Open Your Mind. The first track, “Along Came You”, starts out with a great rock riff that immediately makes you think you’re listening to a song by Jet, The Vines, or The Hives, but then the vocals come in and instead of what you expect to be a garage rock attitude, you hear the clean treble (akin to Goran from the Gufs) of lead singer Luke Skowronek. It’s a great combination that really gives the band a distinct sound that is familiar, and yet feels original.
The 10 song album, recorded at Cherry Pit Studios with producer Eric LaBrosse, is strong and diverse. Songs like “Along Came You” and “When the Rain Comes Down” are pop/rock delights that are radio friendly and ready for mass consumption. The album has some deep cuts, including the 7 ½ minute epic that is “Julia”, which is beautifully crafted and balances the mellow and the rock throughout the track. “Burnin’ Up” is a standout track, and the only one where the band goes full on rock. The guitar work on this song from Luke and Deven Deuter is exceptional. Between the heavy distortion of the rhythm guitars and a screaming solo, it just takes their sound to another level. Another standout is the first single and title track, “Open Your Mind”. The song features a great bass line from Oscar Sorvick, that is the lifeblood of the song. It’s a mellow one that really likens back to 90’s pop/rock acts like The Gufs and The Rembrandts.
Open Your Mind is an exceptional debut album that certainly deserves any attention it gets. The Taxmen have brought forth a great pop/rock effort. The band clearly has a lot of talent and is capable of writing some very good songs. Don’t be surprised if you end up hearing them on the radio or seeing them on your TV in the near future. Open Your Mind is only the beginning for these guys.