Friday, December 4, 2009

The Mantles on Slumberland/Dulc-i-tone = Slumbertone Records

Just got this single from The Mantles in my Slumberland order the other day, and it seems like it's already sold out from them but they mention giving Dulc-i-tone a try to see if they have any left.
I saw the Mantles open for Ty Segall at Death by Audio a little while back...there was an insane art party/sculpture in the space and it was a little hard to properly see/hear these guys, so I was waiting to hear how this single would pan out before I made the leap to seek out their full length on Siltbreeze.
The A-Side 'Bad Design' has a lot more little details going on in the bassline then I heard that can be hit or miss there with the sound quality, and I understand they're working with near nothing and never a soundcheck so it was pretty muddy. There's a lot more subtly melodically and less mess. He sounds a bit like a hoarse Joe Strummer with JB from the Crystal Stilts delivery. Or maybe it's the melody that sounds like the Stilts on this one, the organ underneath...I could hear a cover version easy.
'Rachael' on the B-Side seems like the stronger track, this is really capturing that California counterculture era of rock, with a little bit of a garage slant to the whole thing. It doesn't feel like it's grounded in any kind of trend...unless there's a post-psyche thing that you could actually put a finger on, it's got it's own romanticised vision of the 60's, those bubble light things, paisley could be the echo, or the attitude...a little laid back, but then with a dark side freak-out from a biker gang. It's all there. The beach, cars, drugs, the desert...The marbled vinyl and handstamped labels.

MANTLES "Bad Design" b/w "Rachel" 7" (IWIWAS 000001).
Thrashed out in the basement on a slow Sunday afternoon, the brand new "Bad Design" has the lazy drive of a "tougher" Bats -- hungover with a shot voice and a negative attitude. It's also notable for being the recording debut of newest Mantle, key-tickler Matt Kallman (also of Magic Bullets). On the flip, "Rachel" is a zoned-out and inescapably psychedelic album out-take. With a sinister hook, and dark vibes care of producer Greg Ashley, it's a b-side but definitely not a cast-off.

A stop-gap single for their just-completed tour, this Slumberland/..Dulc-i-Tone co-release is only available via mailorder from the labels. Limited to 300 copies, all swirly color vinyl, the single features two exclusive songs not available on the brand new Siltbreeze LP.
The full length is at the Siltbreeze and you can hear the 'Bad Design' track from The Mantles thanks to Slumberland here if there's absolutely no more. Sorry.


  1. Anonymous6:47 PM

    hey jason, just discovering yer blog - good stuff. thinking of picking up this mantles single or their new lp. thx for the review.

    just got the v/a 'skulls without borders' 10" in the mail, speaking of siltbreeze. guess they're (nearly) gone too - at least direct from the label.

    and i know this is seriously old news to a lot of people, but i just received the wounded lion 'friendly?' 7" too, and was going nuts trying to decide whether side a (@ 45rpm) was really the band's true sound or not. i emailed itr and they confirmed their error: side a = 33rpm, side b = 45rpm. their words: "we screwed up pretty bad". hell, it's nothing - my blank dogs 'waiting/splitting' single (on itr!) has side b printed as 'SPITTING'. nice, eh?

    - j kocevar

  2. Hey thanks...
    I have that Blank Dogs one too...I still think that track should be called spitting.
    How is that V/a Skulls 10"?
    I'm just glad no one has gone the way of 78's or 16' they even press those anymore?
    Trust me, some of those noise/experimental bands no one will ever know what speed they were supposed to be played.