Mansion - Early Life LP
released November 20, 2015
The Oakland, Calif., band Mansion plays highly rhythmic, ringing, eerie, pitch-black, rough and telegraphed noisiness. What it does, with drums and two guitars and the singer Candace Lazarou enunciating sternly and carefully, feels like sturdy, skeptical commentary about song-making, something we can always use as a corrective. It’s brash enough to make you feel it has no parents, but it doesn’t come out of nowhere; it relates to a post-No Wave tradition that’s more than 30 years old. Imagine the 1980s group Live Skull but less melodic, or the new Montreal group Big Brave but more claustrophobic, without the pensive silences, and you’re almost there. On “Early Life,” Mansion’s first full-length album — available on vinyl as issue No. 17 of the fanzine Degenerate Ephemera, or via stream or download at Mansion’s Bandcamp page — Ms. Lazarou sings a weird poetry about forgetting, futility, valuelessness, and has a gift for the mysterious detail: “Sell off the clothes of the soon deposed/Leave them in a field.” (Deposed?) Or “I’m not doing this because it is fun/It’s just that the vibrating is getting to us.” (The vibrating?) The songs are gnashing or pinpointed, or switch between the two positions; I prefer them when they’re holding something back and keeping you in suspense, as in “California Priest” and “100 Pound Crown.”
-Ben Ratliff, New York Times
Adam Keith - Guitar
Candace Lazarou - Vocals
Jeff Cook - Drums, programming on "St Tropez Slut" and "100 lb Crown"
Ronny Burke - Guitar
Recorded in Oakland, CA and Nashville, TN by Jeff Cook and John H. Mixed by Jeff Cook and mastered by John H.
Photography by Adam Keith with help from Brandon Walsh and Miel Lister.