RX Bandits – Mandala

5 Jun

Hey everybody!

I haven’t posted in a bit. I’ve been busy finishing my semester as well as my album. I am happy to announce it is done! There is link to my website at the bottom. Unfortunately however, as you might know, once you finish something you instantly start three new things. So I currently have a lot of things floating around my mind, but today I set aside some time to bring you some good tunes! : D

I will be presenting to you a band and an album which is very dear to me. The album just happened to be there for me when I was going through a rough time in my life and for that I will always cherish it. ❤

That album, as you may have deduced by now, is Mandala by the RX Bandits. Now be warned, this music is highly experimental. It is nothing crazy, but it’s considered alternative rock/ska which I don’t believe is something that has been done yet. It also contains elements of math-rock which adds a layer of musical craziness. This is most likely the reason why it meshes with me so much. Not to mention, it’s also trippy as hell/heaven.

Off the bat take this song as an example:

That would be Mientras lo Veo Sonar, a lovingly nicknamed Spanish song. If you are reading this that means you peeled your eyes away from that beautiful album art. However, it barely encompasses the complexity of this song. A heavy electronic opening gives way to Spanish diction and an intense drum beat. Matt Embree, the singer, guitarist, producer, and general driving force behind the band, begins singing in Spanish. I have no clue what he is saying other than ‘requesta’… request?

The verse then flows into the chorus, the singing switches to English and an easy ska-ish beat takes over, allowing you to catch up and get into the rhythm. But before you get a chance to get comfortable the song drops into a trippy verse, the singing this time half-Spanish, half-English. The electronic effects are on just about every single instrument, phasing in and out like as if you’re flying through space.

One more short chorus occurs and then we get one of the trippiest, drawn-out, awesome trip-out endings ever.  I love the emphasis on “Good-bye” as it begins to envelope you. Because once the piano begins to play you realize you are not where you were. The drumming, physically impossible for one drummer to perform, is the only reminder of what you are listening to as you drift somewhere away. As it ends you realize that a new day is starting both epic and mysterious.

Refreshment for the soul.

Now consider this song:

Probably my favorite song off the album, Breakfast Cat delivers anything a person could ask from a band like this. The beginning is a wild flurry of who knows what. It quickly catches an odd beat and is justified when a guitar plays it in and a riff is formed out of it.  But you do not even get a chance to think, because this song changes just as a fast as it possibly can. Once again Matt on vocals, quickly ushers the music into a series of transition after transition.

It eventually leads nowhere and after a brief synth interlude it jumps back into the main instrumental chorus. The singing returns, now for a shorter period of time. As that ends, transitions again make the bulk of one of these make-shift verses. Robot noises and echoed vocals are a definite recipe for a great time.

The final sung chorus, the shortest of the three, warrants higher expectations. And deliver it does as a trip-down ensues that will make you higher than anything. It is the final culmination of endless tangents – beauty and nothingness. Be warned, because the ending of this song will force deep amounts of introspection upon you. But this is psychedelic music. What did you expect?

Just try to picture a fat cat angry that it has not been fed yet, purring and rubbing your feet one second, hissing the next. Perfect imagery in my opinion for this monster of a song. :p

This band, hailing from California, traditionally had its roots in ska, albeit a very alternative style of ska. As a result they have garnished a certain image, specifically from ska-haters. But their musical journey has taken them extremely far and this latest album is definitely one which breaks down genre-walls and speaks to a new type of crowd. And maybe it will get the haters to quit hating. Who knows?

I will most definitely be returning to this band to cover past albums. I will also link one more video of theirs from one of the more slower songs off the album at the bottom, but even these three songs cannot fully represent this masterpiece of an album.

Happy listening!


*Be warned* – my music is very very weird


P.S. One more song – March of the Caterpillar

One Response to “RX Bandits – Mandala”


  1. RX Bandits – Indefinite Hiatus | SpaceMusic - August 5, 2011

    […] RX Bandits – Mandala (musiccourt.wordpress.com) […]

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