New Best Friends
When first hearing Mansions’ sound, a rare and unlikely mutation of early Death Cab for Cutie and standard emo rock band hybrid creeps to mind. While this description may not seem to be the most flattering of statements, the emotionally heartfelt beats that make up the majority of New Best Friends are difficult to describe as anything else.
None of the album’s tracks veer off the pre-charted indie rock aesthetic, but this is one of the rare cases that this works in a band’s favor. There is a kind of comfort in knowing that all twelve of the album’s tracks will adhere to certain expectations. It is a rare band that can take lyrics that barely skim the surface of depth and create something that manages to seep into the brain of the listener. For instance, phrases like “You met him at a party. He was a hot Australian. All you wanted was to fuck his accent” (from “Por Favor is Spanish”) have the annoyingly wonderful ability to glue themselves into the brain of the listener.
While all of the tracks on New Best Friends are catchy, the standouts are “Curacao Blue” and “All Eyes on You.” Both songs explore a deeper and more nuanced world than their album-mates, and both have the staying power to hold up on subsequent listens. The simplicity within these tracks is refreshing; in a world flooded with over-produced anthems, this band manages to maintain a listener’s interest while still retaining a sense of self. “Curacao Blue” in particular exudes a vibe that is simultaneously rough around the edges and yet still somehow delicate.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Mansions’ latest album is the bonus MP3 CD included. The bonus is jammed with thirty eight tracks, mostly demos and remixes, but definitely worth your time. Who knows, after listening to New Best Friends, you may have a new band to be BFFs with.