Single review by Vince Leigh
CBR’s Mangrove energise, entertain, and delight with their blistering new track
Canberra band Mangrove, featuring Matt Duprez and Callum Selmes, released its debut Howlin in 2022. They swiftly followed that up with the EP Hooks In The Eyes of The Deaf, and single XPA, earlier this year.
The band’s new one is a fulminating blend of psychedelic blues rock with tinctures of early heavy rock. It’s raw and replete with a decimated blues rhythm, a whole bag of vocal manifestations, guitar riff wailing, and unruly splendour.
It’s a striking indie rock amalgamation that showcases the band’s self-possessed talent for crafting searing guitar-driven tracks augmented by tight yet unleashed musicianship.
From the opening chords, Dear Sir or Madam establishes a propulsive, urgent energy that only builds as the song progresses. The vocals decisively convey frustration and defiance mirrored in the pugnacious guitar work and chaotic reverie of the late ‘60s Mitch Mitchell drum adaptations.
Intricate and layered
The band’s commitment to creating a high-energy, cavernous, larger-than-life sound is evident throughout, with each element contributing to the overall intensity of the track.
What differentiates Mangrove from other indie rock bands is the ability to incorporate a slew of influences and stylistic fundamentals into their sound—including those of the post-punk and post-grunge era—without sacrificing their more traditional-based sensibilities.
The guitar work is intricate and layered, utilising cascading, colliding riffs that are both hard-hitting yet strangely, and enticingly, melodic. The rhythm section is tight and dead-on, with a sense of urgency that perfectly matches the lyrical explorations of the track.
And the production is clean—just what the indie rock doctor ordered—allowing each aspect of the song to shine through without overpowering the rest. The mix is well-balanced, with the vocals and guitars taking centre stage while the drums and bass provide a fluid sort of foundation. It remains reliably supportive for the rest of the instrumentation and indeed, for the track.
Stirring, enervating stuff.