It is clear that West London’s Måntra do not lack confidence. The three-piece come out swinging on their debut EP, ‘I Want’. The opening title track delivers a big riff and a cool slacker vibe making for a hot start. The simplicity its chorus also sticks, and should ensure some fun call-backs at live shows.
Each of the five songs featured here have a good level of consistency throughout, but ‘Power Struggle’ is the clear highlight. The song feels the most complete, with each idea coming together in style. The mid-point breakdown is a real gem and will surely get people moving in the pit.
‘Hypochondria’ is a solid follow up, elevated by yet another rallying chorus. The flashes of experimentation in the opening help break up a flow that had started to become a little tiresome by this point. The band clearly has a proficiency for writing and performing tightly-wound rock songs, but more resourcefulness and variety will definitely help deliver an even stronger follow-up full-length release.
Thematically, a lot of the band’s lyrical content centres on an anxious look at modern society. With the current political strain on the UK’s healthcare system in particular getting namechecked. This stance is refreshing, but would be nothing without good songs. Thankfully Måntra deliver them with both swagger and a good sense of melody, despite lacking the odd inventive idea at times.
This is a debut with enough garage-bound fuzz and just enough dirt under the finger nails to stay with you longer than most radio-friendly fare found in the UK rock scene currently. For fans of Royal Blood, cult heroes Reuben, and the less eccentric side to Biffy Clyro’s back catalogue, this is worth seeking out.
‘I Want’ EP by Måntra is released on 13th January on Dine Alone Records.
Words by Joe Philpott (@joe_philpott)