Friday, July 12, 2013
Meet The Mandates!
While still a relatively new band, The Mandates are made up of seasoned veterans of the Calgary punk scene. Guitarists Brady Kirchner (Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome, The Funfuns) and Matt Wickens (The Tension Slips, Hollywood Gods, Mossleigh) are joined by Jimmy James (Knucklehead) on bass and Warren Oostlander (The Throwaways, No Problem) on drums. Kirchner and Wickens share singing duties and team up for a dual guitar attack that channels Thunders & Sylvain via Terry Six. Opening track "Is She Coming Back?" comes on with high energy glammy swagger a la New York Dolls/Hollywood Brats, and overall there's a major rock n' roll element in this band's music that you don't always hear in contemporary variations on punk/powerpop. Songs like "Gotta Forget That Girl" and "I Stayed At The Arcade" show plenty of Exploding Hearts love, and I've got no objection to that whatsoever. And when these fellas slow down the pace and find that perfect powerpop groove, they really hit the target with hooky gems like "Daggers' Girl". All in all, this is a super-good debut from a band that's got plenty of talent to go with all that impeccable taste. The guitar work (clearly a point of emphasis for mixmaster Kearns) is killer, and the whole album works up a goodtime energy that's ideal for summertime listening. Song lyrics revolve around being young and girl crazy - Who can't relate to that? This is what some might call a "party record". Even the songs about heartbreak and rejection are tremendous fun. If "Tonight" doesn't get you revved up for a night of teenage kicks, perhaps nothing will!
Alright! The Mandates have delivered a dark horse contender for my year end top five. Get the cassette from Shake! Records. Vinyl still available from Mammoth Cave!