Under Review

The Mandates

The Mandates (Mammoth Cave)

Review by Mark PaulHus

If the Mandates were a slice of pizza, they would be a greasy slab of ham and pineapple: quality New York deli meat and sweet, sundrenched pineapple on top of a well-worked crust covered in a classic sauce and all held together by just enough good cheese.

  The Mandates’ self-titled debut is a hot, gooey wedge of east coast-style power pop, and considering their pedigree (Knucklehead, the Throwaways, the Tension Slips, SIDS), it is not surprising that the four leather-clad Calgary boys are able to pull off such convincing swagger. Their vivacious, guitar-driven style of punk rock is alludes to greats like the New York Dolls, the Dictators, the Dead Boys, and the Ramones.

  Things get off to a running start on “Is She Coming Back?” as a solitary riff builds into a roaring punk rock riot, setting the pace for the entire record. Brady Kirchner and Matt Wickens provide a plethora of nonstop meaty riffs song after song, while their saucy vocals spout sweet lyrics about girls, video games and being a “Terminal Teenager.” All this is held together by Jimmy Sixx’s gooey basslines and Warren Oostlander’s piping-hot beats.

  As everyone knows, though, it would all be just another drab piece of cheap cardboard if it weren’t for the carefully worked songs, crisp-yet-pliable structures that make this record whole. The Mandates have cooked up a genuine 12-inch slab of fun, New York style punk rock that will definitely leave you hungry for more!