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EP Review: I Want by Mantra

West London trio Mantra will release their much anticipated debut EP I Want on 13th January via Dine Alone Records. It’s a rousing and commanding 5 track EP that marks the band as ones to watch in 2017.

Front man and guitarist Simon Stark explains a bit more about the EP – “We did the EP with Tom Dalgety in two separate stints over 2013 and 2014 – we had heard the stuff he had done with other bands like Dinosaur Pile Up and Royal Blood who we’re big fans of, and he’s just a swell guy that seemed to get what we are about. The songs that we ended up doing were reflective about how I felt about the world at the time. ‘Power Struggle’ is about the government budget cuts, (the right wing cuts to public services came to my local hospital, so I felt an obligation to say something about how easy it is to lose the basics if you’re not paying attention), for example, and ‘I Want’ is mainly focused on consumerism, questioning religious theocracy and social anxiety but the thread that ties them all together is the ever increasing self-centred nature of people.”

Title track and latest single ‘I Want’ gets the EP of to a storming start. It’s a big blustering accessible rock track – there’s a hint of Royal Blood to the guitar sound while you could be forgiven for hearing an element of Kasabian in the swagger of the lyrics. First single ‘Destroy You’ is stronger, it feels a little fuller and more comprehensive – the riffs are dirtier and in general has less of sheen.

‘Stroke’ has a delicious throbbing bassline and develops into a storming track before ‘Power Struggle’ packs it’s aggressive and very real punch. It’s by far the standout track on the EP blending a current Pulled Apart By Horses with an indie rock swagger that’s both infectious and compelling. ‘Hypochondria’ solidifies the thought that Mantra could be in for a big 2017.

As debut EPs come this is impressive and assured. There’s bags of potential there. Get in on Mantra before they’re huge.

AD Rating 7/10

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