Douglas Martin loves board games.
The Mantles may have been borne out of the same dive bar garage-rock boom that swept the San Francisco Bay area before high rents and tech yuppies forced most of them out, but they’ve always had this sweetness about them that belies their peers. I’m not sure if it’s Michael Olivares’ super-earnest vocals or the band’s loosey-goosey, sort of unambitious presentation in the face of so many bands charged with practically introducing the genre to the supposed “high-art” crowd.
If you look closely enough, there’s a slight touch of Flying Nun in their approach to garage-rock, and now it seems as though that particular influence is coming home to roost, complete with bright keyboards, unwound-sounding drums, and jangly guitars. (Personally, I am a huge fan of jangly guitars, as well as an equally huge fan of using the word “jangly” to describe guitar sounds.) “Memory” is jaunty in a way the Mantles have yet to try, but it gives off the same fun-loving, next-gen Paisley Underground sort of way. Low-budget and effervescent, it sounds like no other band but the Mantles.