Rx Bandits – Mandala

Explosive opener My Lonesome Only Friend builds with trickles of sound as the band gears up for Mandala, essentially a chaotic ride through musical twists and turns. However after subsequent listens the album begins to glue itself together presenting a coherant and rather outstanding shape. True to Rx Bandits fame the opener is fast and edgy and contains a burning solo that’ll want you to play the song again before you continue. Personal highlight It’s just another Parsec… follows suit but closes with a beautifully melodic jam designed to please the ear before this calm is disrupted ocne again by the tripped out Hope is a Butterfly..(I won’t type the whole title out :P) – this song takes you back to the drive-thru days of the Bandits with a fast paced catchy chorus that intertwines with sparse and dizzying guitar work on the edges. The aural assault doesn’t show signs of slowing with the fourth track but from here on we’re treated to a short breather.

Enter the second phase of Mandala, the spanish laiden Mientra Le Veo Sonar showcases the wonderful instrumentation and diversity of this record – what i really enjoy is how damn good those guitars sound – the tone, the pitch it’s just so appealing. The song closes with another jam (a theme repeated throughout the album). White Lies closes this three song breather with brilliant vocal work from Embree and even a string section to add some atmosphere. Bury it Down Low follows and seems somewhat out of place on the album but it’s still fun and is reminiscent of the 1980 fame with it’s catchy rhythms.

By now you want some rock, and this is exactly what hits you – Breakfast Cat blasts in with some serious metal influences and fast guiatr work and closes with yet another jam showcasing the strength of the bass work on the record. I’m not going to describe Bled to be Free (Operation) because you just gotta hear it for yourself –  finally after a long journey the album closes on Bring Our Children Home Or Everything Is Nothing, offering the trademark climactic closer the Bandits are so well know n for.

The depth of this record is insane, and those worried about the brass element being missing from the roots of the band needn’t as the keys of Choi and all in all variability of their sound is amazing. I do have a few suggestions:

(a) Buy the vinyl

(b) experience with good headphones,

You will not be dissapointed.


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