Welcome to MANSIONS

[rating:7/10]

Max Bemis molded a masterpiece of pain, sorrow, and resilience when he turned a nervous breakdown into …Is A Real Boy, the debut full-length for his now famous project known as Say Anything. Bemis’s heart-on-sleeve vulnerability is equaled only by his tongue-in-cheek bravado and Say anything has been able to set themselves apart as something special in the indie alternative scene. Having worked with Bemis and his band, it is no surprise that Doghouse Records has a knack for finding troubadours with both strong musical and strong lyrical sensibilities. Enter Christopher Browder and MANSIONS…

Like Bemis, Browder is a cocky, yet vulnerable songsmith willing to chomp right into the listener. In a mere four tracks, Browder sets himself apart as an artist worth much more than a brief listen and someone unwilling to release status quo music that can be pigeonholed into a single sound or genre.

The opening track, “The Worst Part”, opens with a biting “Fuck you” showing the listener right away that MANSIONS will not be superficial and unwilling to show the true emotion behind the songs. This and the following two tracks all possess a radio friendly quality while still sounding raw and fresh, due in part to great production value that seemingly rejects overproducing or polishing the songs. Of these three tracks, the third, a toe tapping track about taking chances and being yourself entitled “Tangerine”, is the track that has the most pop appeal and could easily be a breakout single in multiple formats.

The final track of the four is a slower song, in a different vein than the first three tracks. This track slowly builds up with breathy, almost pained vocals, to a point where Browder seemingly admits guilt to someone who will inevitably find out the truth anyway. This track somewhat reminds me of the original recording of “Ender” on Finch’s What It Is to Burn, where the fuzzied vocals are more part of the background than the foreground until the chorus, then the vocals become more pronounced and prominent. Browder’s vocals seem to be part of the backdrop until after the build up when he sings clearly that he knows that his lie will catchup to him in the end.

Overall, it doesn’t really matter that Browder cites Weezer, The Get Up Kids, Nick Drake, and Nirvana as influences or that he reminds me of Max Bemis. It doesn’t matter that three songs are pretty radio friendly or that the fourth reminds me a of a Finch song. In fact, it doesn’t really matter that MANSIONS is the name of the project. The only things that matter are that this kid knows how to write good songs about angst, pain, love, hurt, and the rest of gamut of human emotion and that this EP is a solid, well produced taste of what is to come. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

~ by thepaintedman on July 2, 2008.

4 Responses to “Welcome to MANSIONS”

  1. e3rh6ud6bvp3wmp4

  2. Hi Patty… not sure what that means, but thanks for stopping by.

  3. great review…whole-heartedly agree.

  4. […] MANSIONS on tour with Weatherbox this March and […]

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