Published Mar 26, 2013Featuring members of bands like Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome, the Funfuns, No Problem and Knucklehead, Calgarian quartet the Mandates are no strangers to their local independent rock scene. Still, with the new album by this latest project, they've achieved something that eschews both their local Calgary scene and era.
Celebrating the release of their self-titled debut on Thursday (March 28), the Mandates have been playing '70s-influenced punk and rock'n'roll-leaning power pop since 2011. Guitarists and duelling frontmen Matt and Brady met through a mutual friend the year before and were playing in a different band with drummer Warren and former S.I.D.S./Funfuns member Sarah. When she left the band, they approached bassist Jimmy with some demos, and the Mandates quickly formed.
"In the beginning, the new songs just kept coming and people kept showing up at every single gig," Brady tells Exclaim! "The four of us each have at least one or two other projects, but we try to prioritize the Mandates because we truly enjoy writing together, and I think it's as simple as a feeling of inspiration and camaraderie."
Though their bread and butter is four-on-the-floor fist-pumpers, Brady insists that the Mandates are constantly striving to think outside the box with their punk anthems.
"It's a great project in the sense that we're constantly challenging each other to come up with something amazing at every rehearsal," he explains. "We keep it fun and simple, while trying to create some really intelligent music. 'Simple' doesn't necessarily mean 'easy' and I think we're finding the balance between those concepts."
How do they arrive at such a vintage sound while maintaining their own identity? Brady explains that it comes naturally.
"I like to work within set boundaries because that forces me to be more creative, but I don't think there are ever any rules," he says. "I think I can speak for everyone in the project when I say that we can stay positive because we're writing the exact type of music we want to play. I think it takes a lot of time and some mistakes to figure that out, and once you have it, you have to hold on to that spirit."
The Mandates follows a handful of 7-inch singles as the group's first proper album. The 11-track release was recorded by Calgary local Ryan Sadler (Teledrome) and mixed and mastered by Portland punk veteran Pat Kearns (the Exploding Hearts, the Nice Boys, Red Dons).
Look for a link to order the LP via the Mandates' Bandcamp page on Thursday, as well as an exclusive stream of the full album via Exclaim.ca
1. Is She Coming Back?
2. Photo in my Wallet pt. II
3. Don't Take it Slow
4. Daggers' Girl
5. I Stayed at the Arcade
6. Terminal Teenager
8. Gotta Forget That Girl
9. Neon Lights
10. She Gets Her Kicks From Terry Six (Not Me)
11. She's Walkin' Over