Melissa Auf der Maur (MAdM) certainly has an active imagination. To contain all her ideas, the former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist had to focus her multimedia talents to create Out of Our Minds (or OOOM as she calls it), a 3-part conceptual work that includes an album, a comic book and a short film.
According to MAdM, this project began with the song “Out of Our Minds,” a song that acts as an invitation to explore the project rather than an explanation of the concept behind. The chorus, which is catchy enough, instructs the listener to “travel out of our minds and into our hearts.” MAdM seems to hope that OOOM will be a more emotional experience than an analytical one, which makes sense because this album doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
While the comic book and short film may offer clearer insights into the meaning of OOOM (or maybe they don’t — I haven’t seen either), the album itself does a poor job. After several listens, the concept wasn’t clear. MAdM often sings about love, death and vikings, but how they all fit together is a mystery. If viewed as a piece to set the mood for the rest of the project, the album can be forgiven for being vague, but there are still many mediocre songs.
Musically, OOOM builds decent tension only to falter during the release with unsatisfying climaxes. The songs have good foundations, but fails to build much on top of them leaving the album with a rudimentary feel. It’s like looking at the frame of a house. The one bright spot on the album is the duet with Misfits signer Glenn Danzig, “Father’s Grave,” a gothic blues that tells a tale of the relationship between a girl and her father’s undertaker.
OOOM isn’t strong enough to be a stand-alone album, but it’s possible it could be bolstered by the context of the larger project; however, the album does little to inspire further progression into the project.
Out of Our Minds was self-released by MAdM and is available now.