Mandy, Indiana - ... EP Music Album Reviews

Mandy, Indiana - ... EP Music Album Reviews
Equally indebted to no wave and dance, the Manchester, England-based trio’s debut EP walks a fine line between violent and groovy.

The music of Mandy, Indiana is war all the time. Bullets fly on “Bottle Episode” and daggers are stared on “Nike of Samothrace.” Frontperson Valentine Caulfield snarls her French-language lyrics with a tone of pent-up rage that sounds like your unnervingly quiet goth cousin finally letting loose; Scott Fair’s noisy yet melodic industrial-pop production carries the percussive heft of Battles and the ear-splitting drone of HEALTH. Drummer Liam Stewart, a former touring member of LoneLady, rounds out the band, and his percussion walks the same line between violent and groovy. The resulting … EP is a deft balance of harsh and playful, danceable and transfixing.

Much of Mandy, Indiana’s power lies in Caulfield’s shapeshifting, hammer-to-the-head vocals. Amid the formless noise and swelling synths of “Nike of Samothrace,” her adrenaline skyrockets as she attempts to dissuade a second, silent character—maybe a creepy man at last call—from following her home at night. “J’suis une grande fille, je sais où je vais, j’me perdrai pas” (“I’m a big girl, I know where I’m going, I won’t get lost”), she says, speaking in fits and starts, as if running out of time to choose between fight or flight. Her rapid cadence ricochets off the music to emphasize the situational terror. Atop the sixteenth-note, coldwave throb of “Alien 3,” Caulfield describes unburdening herself of someone else’s apathy: “Tu t’en fous/J’ai plus envie d’être à genoux” (“You don’t care/I won’t live on my knees anymore”). Delivering her incantations in a high, barbed register with hardly any lilt to her voice, she sounds like a lower-fidelity Florence Shaw of Dry Cleaning. When the music briefly explodes with rubbery percussion and flayed drones, Mandy, Indiana wordlessly suggest freedom.

The trio’s music is combative in its dissonance and just-above-midtempo stomp, but there’s liberation in the arrangements. These songs are even-keeled yet ramshackle, equally indebted to no wave and dance, bound to get your heart rate up to mosh pace. The slight hiss on the recordings emphasizes these strengths, especially on highlight “Bottle Episode,” where Caulfield’s voice gnashes through descriptions of bullets tearing apart soldiers’ bodies. The imagery is horrifying, but Caulfield’s snippy growl and Fair’s white-hot synths make the song oddly fun. “Sous le feu et sous les balles/Les hommes dansent quasiment” (“As the bullets hit them, the men dance, almost”), Caulfield snaps over the garish howls and sinister pulse. The darkest end comes with deliverance.

The EP ends with two remixes that fall near-perfectly in line with the trio’s scything musical vision. Daniel Avery locates a drone that’s just a minor element of “Alien 3” and makes it a key focus, pushing the track’s noise-to-melody ratio in the harsher direction of “Bottle Episode” and “Nike of Samothrace” while sussing out its dance undercurrents. Club Eat puts the pedal to the metal on “Nike of Samothrace” and reimagines it as “Blue Monday” for the Working Class Woman crowd, speeding up the tempo to adapt Mandy, Indiana’s militaristic percussion for steely, nameless warehouse raves. As Caulfield’s manipulated vocals zip by, they retain their anxious energy right up to her parting blow: “Tu fais le malin à emmerder les filles dans la rue (You think you’re so clever harassing girls on the street),” she snaps. “Mais tu t’attends pas à ce qu’elles aient une lame dans leur poche, c’est ça? (But you don’t expect them to have a knife in their pocket, do you?)”

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mandy, Indiana - ... EP Music Album Reviews Mandy, Indiana - ... EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 29, 2021 Rating: 5


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