Mandarins Shiver EP

With the help of band members from a slew of Canadian indie acts - including the Bonaduces - this debut is clearly the work of a unit with a goal. Led by triple-threat Tanya Zubert (singer/songwriter/guitarist), Winnipeg's the Mandarins have produced a solid six-pack of guitar pop tunes with strong hooks and melodies, in the British tradition. The production and even the recording are surprisingly shoddy, however, revealing an occasional lack of unity between musicians. Hopefully, label support will smooth over the bumps in what is overall a good collection of songs. (Independent)