We’ve been listening to ‘Twisted Minds’, the latest single from Gary Dranow, here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today. We’ve recently reviewed his singles Made It (Another Day) and Destiny Road and have been impressed with the versatility of Dranow and his band (the Manic Emotions).

Twisted Minds is a song about the trauma of dysfunctional relationships and the insanity of loving someone with an unhinged mind.

This is a song for fans of 70s classic rock/blues rock and prog. Starting with a buzzy guitar solo, the band make great use of delay on the rhythm guitar. As the first verse progresses, a Hammond joins the track and makes it feel truly authentic.

We love the dirty, almost metal-feeling tone of the guitar solos. This gives a great edge to the track and the choices of notes and clever use of repeated riffs make the solos a real delight to listen to. There is some great stereo and panning in the solos and some gorgeous twin guitar parts. The drum solo leading into the solo is also of particular note.

The descending chromatic line on the Hammond in places is another nice touch and takes this song to a new level and well outside of standard blues rock progressions.

Vocally sounding a little like Jim Morrison and with some well-placed harmony vocals throughout the song, this feels as though it could have been created in the early 70s and has a definite Deep Purple feel to it.

Ideas from our ears

A boost around 50Hz and a cut around 75Hz would balance out the kick drum, giving it a little more thump. A cut around 450-500Hz in the vocal track would reduce some occasional ‘honky’ tones. A boost in the top 2 octaves centred around 10kHz would increase the overall brightness too. Also, the track is very quiet so a light compressor/limiter with maybe as much as 7-8dB of make-up gain would boost the warmth in the track as well as raising the volume to match similar releases. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Another superb track from an artist who is clearly a highly accomplished performer and songwriter, Gary Dranow’s “Twisted Minds” is a song that will delight fans of The Doors, Deep Purple and similar artists of the 70s Classic Rock era.