It’s hard to pinpoint The Mantles’ exact sound. In their latest album, All Odds End, the music transports listeners back to the Beach Boys-era with lead singer Michael Olivares’ easygoing voice while simultaneously keeping the songs alive with backbeats reminiscent of tracks by The Strokes or The Flaming Lips. In a time when the alternative music genre is being taken over by the electronic dance music industry, All Odds End puts indie music lovers’ worries to rest with its eclectic style and vivid lyrics.
Back with their third album, The Mantles prove that their infectious cheer is a running theme in their music. All Odds End starts with “Island,” an upbeat song that brings out Olivares’ unique voice. The lyrics, however, reveal a deeper meaning behind the optimistic melody. With “No address to the island / New address now you ought to / Learn to read the stars again / Wait, they’ve burned out,” “Island” highlights the vulnerability associated with feeling isolated.
Another highlight of the album is “Lately,” a song about unrequited love. The track is weaved with a slower beat, less reminiscent of the hopeful disposition the album starts out with. “Lately” highlights lead guitarist Justin Loney’s ability to showcase his runs. The subject of “Lately” might make the average listener feel jaded, but the lyrics add dimensionality to what would otherwise be a sappy song. The chorus chimes, “On and on the edge of you calling / What’s small enough to keep / Can I find you out there / Lately, it’s not likely.”
But the standout song of the bunch is “Police My Love.” Showing off keyboardist Carly Putnam, “Police My Love” echoes the current revival of the ’80s pop sound. Loney also ties in the song together again with his guitar backdrop, emphasizing the band’s cohesion. As Olivares croons, “From the bottom rising up / The untamed human heart / Can you release my love? / Can you police my love?” listeners will be reminded of David Bowie.
Other than “Police My Love,” the most distinctive song of the album, other tracks from All Odds End start to blend together after listening through the album once. Though some might think that this makes the band’s third effort quite flat, the consistency allows for a strong album overall. Some albums feature a couple memorable singles, while others are an enjoyable album altogether. The Mantles have achieved the latter.
Over the past couple of years, The Mantles have bubbled under the music industry’s radar. With their newest album, All Odds End, they are sure to impress alternative music enthusiasts who are seeking a new, eclectic sound.
All Odds End comes out on Oct. 16.