The Mantles (Noah)

June 5, 2013


The Mantles confuse me. This isn’t surprising, I’m easily confused, but in terms of San Francisco musical talents, The Mantles probably confuse me the most. I blame this almost entirely on a lengthy period in both my musical adoration and the San Francisco scene’s evolution where everything (at least everything I was getting pumped in to my ears) was loosely defined as “garage rock”. Everything was a little fuzzy, everything was a little jangly and for a moment The Mantles fit right in. They had jangle, they had fuzz, and I lumped their sound in to the broad swath of every other musical act that helped to paint that sonic picture.

Now, only a few years, later, The Mantles sound, well, different. Instead of the grimy garage I’d grown used to, they’ve stripped away the grit, and what remains is a cleaner, poppier remainder. Some bastard child of the band I remember and a melodic bit of downer-pop that just strutted in to the studio and took right over, leaving the band that I admittedly remember incorrectly, on the curb. That said, I’m glad the band The Mantles has become is so different from the band I badly remember. Where I couldn’t pull a single track name out of the blur of garage I originally was so sure The Mantles were part of, Shadow Of Your Step is a beautiful, bit of drifter-rock, and both Brown Balloon and Hello are mature bits of pop with just the slightest hint of garage’s crunchy guitar clinging to their side. The Mantles I wrongly remembered might be gone, but if this is the band that fills that void, then, well, change is all for the better.

:The Mantles – Shadow Of Your Step:
:The Mantles – Brown Balloon:
:The Mantles – Hello:

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