Watermelon Chair is a lot more like yer classic rock treatment, complete with original stereophonic mix just like it was back in the day. There's a Zappaesque quality about this track, while being recognisable as something wetly Mandiblised and spewed lovingly into your earholes. It's also a bit coitus interruptus because just when you are starting to get into the rhythm of the thing (if rhythm is a word that can be applied here), it shoots it's load and is lying back smoking a cigarette. Mind you, the 2:28 of its puny frame provides more than a couple of highspots especially if you like your rock to roll, kick your head in and mess with your brain with a fearfully manic song (again, if song is a term that could apply here). The lyrics (if etc...) are not complex and are quite straightforward (if etc....); they go 'what you are doing is not acceptable by the majority. why can't you get along with my brothers?' and I think it would be best if you recognise that their sing-along-ability is a bit lacking.
What isn't lacking, however, is energy. That and splendidly manic innovation and a feel for the genre's bedrock that is so on the money, it'll give you goosebumps. I prefer Mandible's more accessible material but there is no denying that this little (makes a shrugging motion) thing has a charm about it that I am finding hard not to respond to. With its sudden slides from classic rock, through jazzy undertones, heavy metal basslines and drums that have the consistency of tin cans (BIG fekkin tin cans mind...), the more I played this the more I liked it. I think I'm probably a mad keen Mandible fan at this stage, but I can see no reason why others who like to look at things from a different perspective wouldn't get into this just as strongly. When the lyrical section mentioned above comes in especially. After a few plays I have to say that was giving me the musical horn and no mistake. Dare to be different, dare to be masticated by the masters of not-rock-as-we-know-it-Jim...
Freaky deaky or wot? Highly Recommended and a Must Have if you are a fan already.
Wow! I really like this one, Jason.
Ha! Now this is a Christmas song! Consumers indeed! I thought I would scream today at the mall: what does this have to do with Christ!?! The answer, of course, is nothing at all. Not that this is what you are writing about. However, the remark might be about as tangentially relevant to the main thought of your piece as is your chosen title. Follow that? Confused
But maybe not…
I suppose this song should be called “I Hate Me.” On the other hand, calling it “Consumer” – meaning both eater and buyer, I’m guessing - is a good touch. There is something sickening about consumption. Now this might not be what you are thinking about at all, either, but I feel a great deal of self-loathing after I’ve gone shopping. It’s a type of guilt, I think, because we consume so much.
Have you ever read ‘The Insect Play’? I can’t remember who wrote it; some guy from Eastern Europe. It was a both funny and disgusting allegory, parodying humankind based on the ways of insects. For example, the dung beetles spend their lives making a pile of crap, and that’s their life. Anyhow, it’s about consumers and about self-disgust. Jonathan Swift said, “I hate that animal man.’ This song brings that to mind. He also frequently felt self-disgust.
Musically this is really interesting! The production is sparkling, in my opinion. So…roll over Frank Zappa! Actually, it’s not greatly like Zappa, except for one element. That would be the sort of hurky-jerky feel of the vocal melody; it reminds me of some of his work circa 1967-69. Do you know his song ‘Absolutely Free’?
In a way, this track is a novelty for no less than three reasons: first, it sounds like an improbable blend of country & western and punk rock! Secondly, of the various Pilesar numbers I’ve reviewed, Jason, this is the most – ahem – consumer friendly in its sound. (Given the topic, that’s ironic and is - in itself – a statement about how deliberately non-commercial you are.) Finally, I think it is the first time I’ve heard you sing. You might not like your voice (with reference to the lyric) but you sing quite passably.
The lyrics are a litany of despair, but are quite gripping – they are radical and disturbing, yet they maintain a darkly humorous feel. I guess that’s a bit like Zappa too, now that I think about it.
Short story: powerful little song; wonderfully produced and intriguing musically, lyrically and structurally.
Consisting of Russell Jones II, Spencer Madsen and recently convicted -oops sorry I mean married - (congratulations to the happy couple btw) Pilesar, Mandible have become one of Soundclick's essential artists and any of the tracks I have mentioned will show you why. Mind you, you will have to have your Sensible Ears (tm) on because listening to this band's material is never a walk in the park, unless you counted Jurassic Park, in which case it would fit perfectly. Liking and understanding Mandible or not - to my mind - isn't what it's about, this is a band you either love or dislike intensely and I think they are the dogs danglies. At the very least, they are certainly original in what they do.
Like A Cloud is not as easily accessible as some of their more mainstream tracks but it has plenty there for the gen-u-wine Mandible fan; from the brain crunching guitars to the vocal snarl, this is a track to be taken apart slowly over a few hundred plays. Dont be misled by that lo-fi intro, this will soon evolve into a fairly standard Mandible production with a decided rock mentality. It's a slower, moodier track than previous Mandible outings but it perfecty suits the subject matter of the lyrics. Don't go away thinking this a track about a nice fluffly cloud - obviously you don't know Mandible's prediliction for the darker side of the force. AFAIK, this is either a) a tale about a hunter preparing for a kill or; b) A wolf shadowing sheep or any of the above in equal amounts. Either way it's a track that will take some time to really register but when it does, it's impossible to get the stain out.
Mad men with mad music - what could be finer?
Then I discovered that it was a devilish combination of the two. Sneaky eh?
About the only thing you won't get from a Mandible track is bored. It would help if you are into the weirder edges of the aural world, after all the entity known as Pilesar is a member of this band. It would also help if you are into the heavier side of the Prog Rock field. This a bit more riffy than any of the rockish tracks this band has delivered since the seeming chaos and confusion of Acka Fracka and definitely establishes - in this reviewers mind anyway - that this is really their chosen genre. Not that I am complaining mind, it IS high class rock with a thinking mind behind it all.
Matter of fact, I like this more accessable side of the band and have done ever since I reviewed the Kiss-flavoured They in November 2004. In that respect, Refitted Eye is a welcome addition to my growing Mandible collection. It's one drawback - if it is indeed a drawback - is the reliance on riffing to carry the day, although it is one of the main hallmarks of the whole prog rock thing definitely doesn't do much for me. On all other levels this track delivers as consistently as Dominos Pizza, with a sure grip on both the genre and the performance.
A growing legend.
My first inkling of this growing cataas....caaatta....apocolypse was when I reviewed mandible's awesome jewel in the crown Acka Fracka. Believe me, it soooooo fits the title. It's so left field it's probably the other side of the highway but - underneath the monstrous chaos - it all makes a splendid, anarchic sense. Mind you, you REALLY have to work at it because the track is (makes quote sign) difficult. Take a listen to Acka Fracka if you want to know what I mean. Mandible's last track, They, was about as complete a musical kick in the balls as Acka Fracka but on an entirely different slant. They is a track that sounds like it was MADE with Kiss in mind, except Mandible dealt with it 2m times better than Kiss ever could.
Confused? I should fekkin coco...
This confusion has grown to threatening proportions because Rusty Drops The Ball is yet more lo-fi Kiss-like rock AND some of the inbuilt chaos that so marked Acka Fracka. Do be aware that there is a section where an aviary makes an appearance, so anyone who has a fear of beady eyed, sharp of beak and claw birds should avoid this section. Actually, sections are what this track is made of and all very distinct they are too. There's yer rock out beginning, then the birdcage, then a jazzy, chill out (ie let's do a bit of noodling) improvisation - all of which takes up 6:27 of your time. To be honest, I didn't find this as immediate as They or as challenging as Acka Fracka but that's the one thing ET's such as the Scarlet Pilesar haven't taken into account. Us meat puppets learn shit, innit?
All, of course, to be taken in the best possible taste.
This is indeed a bit heavy. I can hear a little "Clash" in there somewhere, but that's not to say its in that veign. Its a bit more progressive than that. I would suggest that this one be listened to on hi-fi so that you can pick up the subtle nuances of the drums. Thumbs up to the mix-down.
I didn't care much for the mid-section, it just seems kinda lost. Like a mugger waiting around for the next old lady to walk by. The last part of the song seems to go in a different direction that seems to me to be an add-on. The music is tight, and the vocals are really top-shelf. Almost Rushesque.
On a personal note, this is not something I could sit back and enjoy much, because of its constant movement. I'm a lazy listener when I listen for pleasure, and this one makes me think too much. The score sheet probably looks like some forgotten form of Chinese algebra. I like the first half of the song, but could do without the last minute and a half.
This one starts with a flute and bells, I like the flute it reminds me of a guitar feeding back, this is a very interesting track, with some good stuff going on, the beat is good it has a American Indian feel to it but it’s not, just the flute gives it that, these guys make some great music and have a load of genre hopping bands I give this a 11 out of 10, great work.
its getting a little repetitive throughout the first few minutes, but there's enough fill like things in the backround to keep me listening. screaming noises fade out well. fair transition section here, intensity is raw and beautiful. o wow that instrument is goin crazy, love it! lively percussion really helps. i dont really like how the shrieking noises just cut out, maybe fade them or some other effect.
AUGH! screaming noises creeped me out, lol nice though. love the phones going throughout that bit. acoustic nicely ending it. id love to know where those shrieking noises are coming from, please tell me! u guys have a unique sound all your own that keeps you literaly on the edge of your seat.
Again you guys blew me away. awesome riffs, awesome players. The bassist is playing some interesting pieces which i love to hear not the follow the root note playing. the vocals are perfect and you feel the anger.
the solo area was so haunting and inventive. great work and yes i want to see you live! your fans must go nuts when they hear you guys... so many great hooks... a well gelled band
I would apreciate a listen to either stratosphere or fire engine... the link is in my signature.... i'll definately keep my ear out for you guys....
A: Gilmore about to be Mandible-ised.
I first came across Pilesar who assailed me with a song about turtles. Then I encounted Pilesar's group Mandible through their Acka Fracka track and life hasn't been the same since. Fact is, Just a Turtle is a wonderfully gentle song about saving turtles - complete with inbuilt aaaaahhh factor. Acka Fracka sounds, upon initial hearing, like an aural Jackson Pollock painting. Complete, I might add, with inbuilt wtf! factor. No matter, undaunted am I. In the month or so since I was acka fracked I've come to love this little beastie of a track; this is an exceptional melange of sounds that couldn't and shouldn't be doing what they are doing to each other, but sounds like they had great fun doing it.
So, as much as I looked forward to hearing something else - hopefully as challenging - I experienced awful trepidation too. After all, as a reviewer I find it increasingly difficult to decipher what at first seems only chaos unleashed and then to have to describe it too - too much overload, fall over, can't get up. Mind you, now that I've had time to properly digest AF and it's vitamin content, I'm probably better set up for another go of this very enigmatic artist. Yeah right, and hear that whooshing sound?...
It's the air whistling in the pigs ears as it flies by us....
See, because as different as Just A Turtle was to Acka Fracka its fekkin continents away from what They is to either of them. I had this nightmare vision while first listening to this track that this must be what a GOOD Kiss (Gene Simmons et al) would sound like; you know, one that thought about it's musical style. Shocked What??!!! Hey, hold on there hoss.... wtf has KISS got to do with something as odd and leftfield as Mandible? Well nothing actually. Other than Mandible having the track Kiss could only wish they had written. It just goes to show that there are some incredible depths to Mandible; as difficult to access as Acka Fracka was, They is right in your face, kicking you in the balls before you have time to shout for help. It would be a massive understatement to say that I am surprised by this track; I couldn't find words strong enough. This is a blistering good track full of genu-wine rock spirit, intelligently put together and well performed; the kind of rock classic you don't hear every day and - for me....
A Must Have.
The panning on the guitars is obscene! Thumbs up Love it! The harmonies? mmm mmm mmmmmm..... they make me crank my head and slam it back down... well... not JUST the harmonies... the whole thing, actually... I'm like "YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! I'M A RAWWWWWKER!!!!!!! GIVE IT TO ME! GIVE IT TO ME!! YEAH YEAH UH!!!!" Rock On! .... suhweet... hehehe "I DON'T BUY IT! I DON'T BUY IT!!!" Rock On! yeah... definitely a song to make me wear a neck brace the next day... especially when you SLAM that electric guitar in there!! That thing is bitchin'! yeah... look what you made me do... I cussed. Cuz... I dunno... it's a song that makes me wanna wear black leather cuz I'm bad...
And "Cycle" isn't what people would think it is... at least I was thinking of something different than what you gave me... this track is positively righteous!!! bwerng bwerng bwerng!!!! bawm bawm bawmmm!!! tsssssssss ow... hot... oh yeah... hehe... a hot vote for you... and one more song to my station. Very Happy.
Never a problem hearing interesting stuff. You are always interesting. Sometimes clicking on one of your tracks is like turning over a rock in a garden Shocked, but it's always interesting to see what will crawl out. (I don't mean that unkindly; I'm sure you know.)
Pedantic point: ‘Final rites’ is misspelled on your page, if you are referring to last rites - which seems probable. (Root word is from ‘ritual.’)
Musically, this is very much like Frank Zappa’s work circa ‘Moving to Montana’ – mid to late 70’s. He frequently used a staccato chord-to-note, hard-hitting, monolithic sounding melodic structure – just as you are doing here. (Wow, now that was awkward!
Lyrically, this song is approximately equal parts absurd and philosophical. Of course, poetry when philosophical tends to flirt with the absurd at the most lucid moments. However, lines such as, ‘we hit the ceiling, we tumbled earthward,/ we struck a balance’ are not greatly lucid – though quite poetic. It mixes conscious and unconscious metaphor to create a humorous mental picture – tumbling earthwards you would certainly strike a balance eventually! You punny fellow. You flirt with a few different puns. I particularly like the refrain, ‘compound my refitted eye.’ I guess you liked it too and that’s why it’s a refrain Smile.
It isn’t all fun and games, you include a few philosophical points – nothing is constant but change, is axiomatic – coined from the German biologist, Haeckel. The idea of a ‘refitted eye’ could speak to something as profound as an awakening or to something as odd as a drug experience – hard to say here.
In any case this is an interesting ‘light metal’ excursion. You arouse interest - which, fittingly, opens the eye. (There are a few puns in that observation!)
Your "For Fans Of" section including Mr. Bungle, Rush and Zappa pretty much says it all. Although these influences can definately be heard in the music, the band still has a sound of their own. The chemistry between these guys just seems to work! Great stuff!
That's just my 2 cents.
Cheech and Chong finally gets it together and takes their rock & roll seriously enough to kick ass all the way down the street.
Blow like the wind and take no prisoners on our way to a Rush revival complete with first rate metal punk humor, Brock Lesnaresque introduction and world class core arrangement.
This shit must be most painful in a small setting.
Dig it the most..
rastafarian maggotfest is ridiculously brilliant. the song consists of two parts. the first part is a delicious soup of noise guitars and experimental sounds. it goes on like that for a while. i guess this is what it sounds like when the maggots up there in the dreadlocks make up their evil plans. soon it fades away as a beautiful guitar takes shape, followed by some amazing vocals. amazing because they manage to be beautiful, silly and haunting at the same time. the mood reminds me of the song on residents' edweena album where he starts to talk about how edweena made him mushrooms etc. now the maggots are really excited. they have decided what to do. the ritual can begin. whatever plans they made it sounds like fun to me. but then again i have never had dreadlocks.
rastafarian maggotfest is probably the coolest mandible song i've heard yet. i have to put it on my station. and i also need to visit your page a bit more frequently.
What first came in mind when listening to this song was "Wow, System of a Down at Soundclick". I double checked the artist name to be sure, that it was in fact not my favourite "System of a Down". Ok, I thought, they do the "System of a Down"-Style really good and I did expect something like a SOD-Single I never eared before, nothing more, nothing less.
But to my surprise, it was not this way. Ok, a big bunch of SOD stayed for the whole song, but, there were so many new exciting elements in it, that I cannot really compare Mandible with SOD or anything of that genre.
I am not able to describe in words, what this music is. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT ! NOW !!! Stop reading that review and visit Mandibles Music Page and be amazed.
Dear Friends, you have a new fan. I am willing to change all my SOD-Albums for just one album of Mandible.
The management of SOD should think about kicking the contract with SOD and better sign Mandible.
What else did you expects as a for outstanding creativity and entertainment.
Rock tha planet Kings !!!
OK, he said, after reading that review, let me see what you do with this....
'This' being his band (if that is the right word) Mandible and the elegantly titled Acka Fracka. Ya know, I LOVE that title, it's so sensuous on the old wobbly gob digit. While you chew on what I mean by that, let me explain a little more about Mandible. They are a three peice suite; Pilesar (vox, keys), Spenser Madsen (gtr, vox, keys) and Russell Jones II (bass, vox) all from the USA and made exclusively of Naugahyde. Nope, silly me. They'se just humins really.... Well, kinda, sorta. One listen to the track will have you questioning that judgement mightily. Surely even something as inherently unstable, quirky and defiantly obtuse as the human race could not be as silly as these guys seem to be...
Acka Fracka - and Mandible - belong to the burgeoning 'awkward squad' of Soundclick artists who really should have their own genre; it's wild, untrammeled, undeniably lo-fi and very, very strange. Although I am loath to lump all these Soundclick artists together it's a fair bet that if you like Big Ship, rolls, killed is everywhere and even Arbour Drive, Station For Imitation and Fear 2 Stop you may very well find something here. There again, if you like the magnificent chaos of the Residents in their prime, Pere Ubu, Zappa at his nuttiest and any number of musical Monty Python clones then this should do the trick for you. Musically these guys are either a) absolute rubbish or b) fecking awesome or c) a jam sandwich. Me, I'm thinking they may very well be c) but I'll have to listen to a few more tracks before I finally make up my mind. On a more serious note, I found sections of Acka very interesting indeed and suspect that despite all the aural tricks and general silliness there may very well be a sharp musical brain in back of it all...
Or it may just be the drugs kicking in. Definitely different, do check it out but handle with care.