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Mandala

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Album Review

On their sixth studio album, the California ska-rockers have stripped down their sound, excising a few horns here and there, but retaining the buoyant feel of their previous work. And while the blue beat emerges on almost every track, the songs explode far beyond the simple upstroke-upstroke aesthetic. "Hope Is a Butterfly, No Net Its Captor, She Beats Her Wings and Softly Sings of Summer Scent and Children's Laughter (Virus of Silence)" is as multifaceted a musical suite as the name suggests, reeling from proggy bombast to concise, pop-punk emoting to snaky reggae. "Bring Our Children Home or Everything Is Nothing" is a similarly complex vortex of sound that meshes galloping punk with Latin rhythms, driven by the prodigious drumming of Chris Tsagakis. The exploratory writing hits more than misses, on a set of songs that shiver with wit and moxie.

Customer Reviews

If it doesn't appeal to you at first, keep listening!!

When I first listened to this album, there were only two or three songs that really grabbed me and made me say, "wow that was amazing". Most RXB albums have all but maybe one song do that for me. However, I can't get enough of this album now that I have listened to it a few times. Once you wrap your head around the album, you can't listen to any other music because they all seem dull compared to RX. After each listen, I get even more immersed in the intricacies and nuances of their music and I appreciate it even more. Chris's drumming is even better than ..And the Battle Begun, and Steve and Matt are on a whole different level on this album. This album sounds similar to some of the Sound of Animals Fighting stuff from the Tiger and The Duke (minus Rich Balling and Anthony Green). Also, there is more of a verse chorus verse chorus structure to Mandala that hasn't been as present in Rx's earlier stuff. I find it refreshing because they still manage to maintain their experimental proggy side as well. Great Stuff. Some of my favorite songs are My Lonesome Only Friend It's Only Another Parsec Hope Is a Butterfly Mientras la Veo Sonar Bled to Be Free Bring Our Children Home or Everything is Nothing

this is good

music

Good Stuff

No more horns but still a good alblum

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Seal Beach, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Emerging from Orange County's thriving ska-punk scene, RX Bandits quickly made a name for themselves as a unit willing to take musical risks and lyrical stances, largely thanks to lead singer and guitarist Matt Embree, whose songwriting continued to evolve in a more progressive direction as RX Bandits grew to their eventual complement of six. Formed in 1995 as Pharmaceutical Bandits, the original lineup featured Embree, bassist Franz J. Worth, drummer Chris Tsagakis, Noah Gaffney on sax, and Rich...
Full Bio
Mandala, RX Bandits
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