REVIEW: Mansell – Mantra


Indie Atlanta three-piece Mansell are releasing their short, stark debut album Mantra. If you like the idea of minimalist rock with no frills or fuss, then it looks as though this record from Mansell will give you something to talk about!

From what we can assume is an off-the-street recording in opening track ‘Walking on Bank Street’, we are introduced to Mantra with an organic, real-world sound. We feel as though there is some sort of social commentary backing the use of public buzz on the album; we’re not quite sure what it is yet, but we definitely get that vibe!

Mansell don’t beat around the bush with this eight-track album, keeping each song brief and giving us only a fleeting chance to make up our minds; and never the chance to get bored. That’s definitely a plus during ambient instrumental ‘Cloundland’ and the slow, atmospheric twangs of ‘Age’ as we still feel entertained and intrigued by the tracks, which never outstay their welcome and, therefore, are never in danger of dragging.

‘Indie’ is such a broad genre these days, isn’t it? It’s come so far from the Brit-pop copycats of the early ‘00s, thank God. Mansell definitely fall under that umbrella, but it’s hard to pin them down with a comparison to just one sound. With ‘Ghost’, for example, we hear the cool synth-pop of popular modern indie bands such as Bastille and Two Door Cinema Club while with ‘A Love Immodest’, on the other hand, we hear that gruff, emphatic rock of more grounded bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Right up to the final note of the album’s last track ‘King Pleasure’, there is nothing showbiz about Mantra. The entire album puts its cards on the table from the off, with all of its unique, jangly guitar riffs and mellow, calm vocal runs hiding in plain sight. Nothing is exaggerated, nothing is melodramatic; it’s a chilled, sophisticated album that has years well beyond its creators.

Mantra by Mansell is released on 11th November via self-release.


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