Hailing from the U.K. comes a band with an album that seems to span every alternative fan’s favorite sounds. Taking cues from the Oasis all the way to Muse, Mantra bring it all to the table. Refreshing and dynamic, this album sounds like it would be perfect as the backdrop to an indie drama.
Manta’s latest release, “Dreamland,” released through Dine Alone Records, is jam-packed with headbanging hits.The first track, “I Want,” is larger than life with a Queens of the Stone Age sound that rings in the listeners’ ears. Mantra married their technical skills with raw power and attention to detail that is currently unmatched.
Working alongside producer Tom Dalgety, they take this release to extraordinary heights using The Pixies’ formulation for well-placed crescendos in their own arrangements. Vocalist Simon Stark shines on this release as a disciple of Thom Yorke (Radiohead), featuring unique and almost angelic vocal arrangements. The tenderness in Stark’s voice layered over the generously heavy arrangements gives the impression of the eternal struggle of sensitivity and brutality.
“Russian Roulette” is extraordinary in its delivery of a mix of terror and nonchalance, giving an air of anxiety and urgency. Stark’s vocals teeter on shrill and abrasive as he nears the end of the track, adding a layer of palpable tension. “Individual” is a punk party track that is reminiscent of the mid-2000’s punk soundscape. The album ends with a cover of “Retrograde” that effortlessly floats in the stratosphere, and its lounge causality and sincerity end the album with a sexy and vampiric kiss goodbye.
This album has something for everyone. The tracks range from drone to punk, and it has an excellent production, making this the perfect debut.