Mansions: Self-Titled EP

Every so often an artist comes along, whom at the time is basically a nobody, yet releases an album that changes the way I view music. They slide in under everyone’s radar, without critical attention or hype, to blacken the eyes of the media darlings we’re told are the next big thing. Mansions is one of those bands. When I stumbled across their Myspace in January, I instantly marked their debut release as one of my most anticipated releases of 2008.

I must confess that the release was worth that six month wait. Simply put, the self-titled EP, consisting of only 4 songs is brilliant.

The albums cynical, yet poetic coming of age lyrical content is wise beyond Christopher Browder’s 23 year lifespan. A prime example of this can be found on “The Worst Part,” the disc’s opening cut. The song states bluntly, “You are becoming obsolete/no one listens even when you scream/it always was so far off-key and insecure/and the worst part is you don’t know it/you’re having the time of your life/you used to be young/you used to be right/and so perfect/well so was I,” highlighting the difficulties of both growing up and outgrowing those you know and love. Coupled with straight forward vocal patterns and pretty effective changes between the chorus and verse, “The Worst Part” finds itself as well written as any song this year. The guitar solo encroaching near the two minute mark is quick and full, and could easily find its way onto Brand New‘s Deja Entendu. But for that matter, the album’s second cut “Take it Back,” would be a relatively nice fit also submerging itself in angsty and witty comebacks like “And while we’re on the topic/ You’re an asshole and you know it/ Thinking everyone loves everything you do.”

But don’t get me wrong, and assume that I’m simply writing this album off as a product of Jesse Lacey’s influence. Browder’s other inspirations certainly show their heads as well. I can find The Get Up Kids buried in the guitar structures of “Tangerine” and Ryan Adams in the simple and beautiful closer, “Told a Lie.” Ending on a much calmer note than it began, Mansion’s EP, left me wanting more, which I guess is its intention, considering the full length is scheduled to drop in the fall. However, if these four cuts are any indication of where this band’s album is heading, it should be well worth the wait.

I have no doubt that it will.

Mansions: myspace

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