Oakland’s Mansion are a relatively new group. They make music that sounds like they’ve listened to a lot of the bands that identified with New York’s No Wave scene, and puts them in camp with East Bay noise acts like No Babies and Stillsuit. Their first release was last year’s self-titled EP, the first track of which opens with marching drums and bursts of white noise. The music is dark and industrial.
Their new LP, entitled Early Life, is coming out on Oakland’s Degenerate Mag, who are foregoing their traditional medium of zine to make this vinyl their 17th issue.
I really appreciate this band’s aesthetic, and was immediately taken by the album art – a cryptic photo collage that looks like some sort of cleansing ritual, which is necessary before the 11 tracks of punishing noise rock on Early Life. Mansion don’t seem concerned with incorporating novelty instruments for interesting sounds, but rather seeing how many different ones they can wring from a guitar. Sometimes their vocalist sneers over stop-start noise avalanches, and sometimes she whispers over soft melodies.
The group have some tour dates in the Fall, and judging by their relative inactivity over the past year, any interested parties should hop on an opportunity to catch them. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s put on Glenn Branca’s The Ascension and been moved. Listen to their EP below, and check out three tracks off the LP over at their tastefully minimal website.