Artist: The Mantles
Title: Long Enough To Leave
Record Label: Slumberland Records
As the old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover” or in the case of a record, the album sleeve. Clap your eyes on the artwork for The Mantles sophomore outing, Long Enough To Leave and you’ll see a multi-coloured panel of glass being held up to the sun. The effervescent bright colours are like tiny pieces of a rainbow amassed into one stained pane of glass, like a kaleidoscopic window to a bright, wonderful world. While you can’t fault the band’s second outing for being awash with lush vocal harmonies and jingle-jangled riffs that skip with carefree joy, the overall feeling towards the quartet’s latest effort is indifference, it’s not an album you can love or hate, it feels bereft of any real substance. As vibrant as the cover art might be, Long Enough To Leave has a palette made from beige.
It’s all well and good sounding nonchalant, however ultimately this is the album’s downfall. It feels like the band lack any kind of purpose, if your wares are going to be devoid of urgency, at least channel something striking or provide an anchor to grasp at. Long Enough To Leave is a suitable title, akin to showing your face at a party, have a quick drink, do the small talk thing and then home by 8:30pm. Each track has the go-nowhere stance of the last, twinned with the album’s meandering guitar lines, frontman Michael Olivares’ mumbled vocal doesn’t aid the plight of his band’s second LP, only on penultimate track ‘More That I Pay’ can you hear the vocalist’s pipes clearly but sonically it’s business as usual, like a pedestrian trip to the supermarket.
There are snippets of the album that make your ears prick up, the opening chords of ‘Raspberry Thighs’ glimmer before being extinguished by a monosyllabic vocal by Olivares’, equally ‘Brown Balloon’s chimed guitar riffs follow into something a little bit more forceful hinting at a more determined band underneath all the Lo-Fi fuzz and dead end psychedelia but sadly there isn’t enough on offer to really absorb you into The Mantles’ world.
Long Enough To Leave… no lasting impression.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams