Mantler Sadisfaction

A one-man ’60s pop throwback machine, Chris Cummings, who records as Mantler, mingles simple, homemade sounds with a heavy taste of sounds from yesteryear. Part gloom of the Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up, another part Virgin Suicides spooky, Sadisfaction is pop music with a moody, almost depressed feel to it. Released on the German label Tomlab, the record doesn’t have any surprising twists or any changes really, sticking with keyboards, drums and vocals the whole way through. One could only imagine how much this record could benefit from a little added instrumentation, but it doesn’t suffer much from its simplicity. Though Cummings claims to include elements of classic ’70s soul in his music, the songs here couldn’t be any less soulful. As peaceful as it sounds, Mantler is a musical project far too deep in self-pity to reveal any kind of soul. (Tomlab)