The Mantles - All Odds End

by Nathan Fidler Rating:5 Release Date:2015-10-16

There is a lazy easiness to The Mantles third full-length album All Odds End. This, along with their slightly sunny disposition, should be no surprise given that they hail from the cheery San Francisco. Mixing 60s, 80s and 00s pop, this is an indie oddity with breeze to spare.

At times they’re rousing; with opener ‘Island’ they trundle on a drum-driven journey, while ‘Police My Love’ has a bubbling bass and crashing organs. Vocally, you get the impression that the 60s psych scene plays heavily. Staggered and sounding almost improvised in their delivery, most songs hold a melody, but it’s not the sort of thing which a 00s crowd would have had much appreciation for.

‘Hate to See You Go’ is the earworm, with the verse “Even if you ever get there, back home” holding its melodic weight against the lackadaisical chorus of “I can see you go, I can see you go”. The flitting between the eras of influence can be a little jarring at times however, with the single ‘Doorframe’ conjuring up an 80s pop image.

Once you’re over halfway through the album, no amount of jangly guitars and pervasive organs can keep you from wanting to turn off. It’s not that the songs are bad, it just isn’t a sound anyone has asked for or wants to keep at the forefront of their mind. The delivery is continually front-footed but has little to say musically.

Stagnant to the point of being headache inducing, it seems like an EP would leave you wanting more - a full album just doesn’t go anywhere. Outstaying it’s welcome, the sunshine factor soaked into these songs doesn’t transform them from being drab and samey efforts.

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