Mandala review by Rx Bandits

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  • Released: Jul 21, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (7 votes)
Rx Bandits: Mandala
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Sound — 9
The Rx bandits recorded ths album when they have been around for a good 14 years or so and have had a huge change in sound and the creation of their songs aswell as numerous line up changes. Over the years the band has moved onto a more progressive rock sound for this album with influences from reggae. This Album's sound more a less continues off from their previous release "...and the battle begun" except minus Chris Sheets on trombone and back up vocals. Mandala kicks off with a crescendo guitar driven riff and heads into a groove based reggae/proggresive rock sound with Matt Embree laying down some soulful vocals and holds his own feet on guitar. Steve Choi lays down some heavy guitar melodies and harmoies whilst also switching from guitar to keyboard. Joseph Troy lays down some impressive bass lines, although I sometimes feel it's hard to hear the bass in this album due to everything that's happening but it's definitely the glue for this band most of the time. Chris the drummer is hands down one of the most complex drummers you can ever listen to, is an insanely talented man and I can't stress how much he makes every song on this album even more impressive with his drumming.

Lyrics — 8
Matt Embree's voice is a very soulful voice, it seems to work incredibly well with the sound the band generates. Matt Embree has been kind of singing the same way ever since the bandits started, but he has increased his vocals so much since their debut album. Songs like "March Of The Caterpillar", "My Lonesome Only Friend" and "White Lies" really prove to me how much of a beautiful voice Matt has. Rx Bandit's lyrics in my eyes are somewhat spiritual such as "These words I write to you my dear, Are sparks to turn the dark to light, Invariable presence." Overall the lyrics are pretty great and the lyrical content seems to fit quite well within the songs. Steve Choi and Joseph Troy both add backing vocals, not sure I can give a really good example but when I saw them live they added heaps to the sound although that might just be live.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall I would say this album is a good start for the Rx Bandits catalogue. Although I prefered it when they still had a horn section, even though they can hold themselves fine without a horn member it still just leaves me wondering what it would sound like if they still had Chris Sheets in the band. I think this isn't as good as "...And the battle begun" but it's definitely a good album with some great beautiful songs. Every track stands out except for Mientras la Veo Soar and Hope is a Butterfly, everything else on the album is fantastic.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    (sic)kid
    Every track stands out except for Mientras la Veo Soar and Hope is a Butterfly, everything else on the album is fantastic.
    :O La Mientras Veo Sonar is easily the best track off the album! It's so jazzy...
    equinox32393
    Go see them live, and you will appreciate both of those songs. The album is definitely a different take at their music but you gave it a fairly just review.
    CrabSoldier X
    Every track stands out except for Mientras la Veo Soar and Hope is a Butterfly, everything else on the album is fantastic. // 8
    what are you talking about? those are the two best songs on the album besides my lonesome only friend. solid album in my book.
    pnkhrdwndr
    If I'm not paying attention to this when I listen to it I'm fine but sometimes it kind of is boring to me. I like how the review comes out almost a year after the cd did
    Greenfinger182
    I give it a solid 9. And I also disagree with the tracks that didn't stand out. Both Mientras and Hope were great tracks. I'd say if there were any two that didn't stand out, they would be Bury it Down Low and Bring Our Children Home. Those are really the only two that didn't do an incredible amount for me. Oh, and in the comments on songmeanings.net, someone posted the verses of Mientras in English. Song has even more impact with those
    Mr Pringle
    CrabSoldier X wrote: Every track stands out except for Mientras la Veo Soar and Hope is a Butterfly, everything else on the album is fantastic. // 8 what are you talking about? those are the two best songs on the album besides my lonesome only friend. solid album in my book.
    I tried so hard to appreciate those songs, but i just find them annoying, sorry!