Once described by Triple J’s Dom Alessio as “the soundtrack to a shoot-out in the outback”, Black Board Minds shoot an echoing bullet of an album that aches to dig deeper but merely leaves a flesh wound.

Black Board Minds’ grimy blues heart is punctured by edgy overtones, drowning the listener in a unique blend of escapism with a sharp message of realism.

The songs speak of disillusionment with the artificiality of society. By juxtaposing a lyric such as “Gucci bags and plastic smiles” with a major tonality in ‘Sex Sells’, Black Board Minds create a superb dichotomy in songwriting which captivates the ear.

With all this though, What Do You See and moreover – the Black Board Minds – suffer one big flaw. Their statement is often not bold enough to cut through their sound. Lyrically, the album tries for more impact, but fails to have enough lyrical hooks to slice further into the album’s psyche.

Although thematically more varied than many rock albums, What Do You See a bit underwhelming as a whole. Still, it’s a well-written debut from a promising Australian band that can mature into a superb rock outfit.

– Patrick Weyland-Smith