54, 40, or Fight!
Mandarin is a good band, and Fast>Future>Present is a great album. There is a certain degree of extravagant moodiness lurking in the nooks of this disc, and there’s plenty of musicianship, subdued poppiness and otherwise curious behavior to appeal to fans of The Cure, Radiohead, Slint, Unwound and Joy Division.
What makes this album so interesting is its appreciation of the simple and earthy. “Shadow Your Shadow” rolls upon a head bobbing bed of overdriven bass and guitar that play in rhythmic syncopation with the drums, but with very little note variation. The song is reminiscent of a more lax version of The Cure’s “Primary.” Elsewhere, the band sounds a lot like Radiohead, with spaced out guitars and dreamy drumming. From time to time, the drums hit hard and mathematically, recalling memories of Slint and June of ’44. One of the most constant things, however, is the lead vocalist’s breathy, whispery and nearly angelic voice. It’s the perfect icing on what is a rather satisfying cake.
54, 40, or Fight!: www.fiftyfourfortyorfight.com