AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Mansions - Mansions Album Cover

Mansions - Mansions

Reviewed by
6.3
Mansions - Mansions
Record Label: Doghouse Records
Release Date: June 17, 2008
"Fuck you and your Goddamn scene."

So begins the debut EP from Christopher Browder, A.K.A. Mansions. It's a line that's gotten him a lot of attention so far with much more likely to come. It's an eyebrow-raiser coming from a newcomer on his first release, especially when, without a scene, this guy would not have a market for his music. It's the first in a series of missteps on a debut that, nevertheless, exhibits a great deal of potential.

The four-track EP is a teaser for Mansions' first full-length, due out in the fall. The first two tracks, "The Worst Part" and "Take It Back," are slated for inclusion on the fall release, while "Tangerine" and "The Biggest Lie" are exclusive to the EP. Browder clearly has a knack for writing pleasant pop-rock melodies, but the bitter tone that permeates his lyrics is a bit over-the-top. Hopefully, the long player will show more versatility in the songwriting department.

On "Take It Back," the opening of which sounds eerily similar to that of Jimmy Eat World's "Lucky Denver Mint," Browder says "I resent the fact that I still sit and take it / Let you cut me down as if I really give a shit." Later, he sounds as if he does really give a shit, when he sings "While we're on the topic, you're an asshole and you know it." Yet he tells the recipient of his rant to "get over it," something he himself can't seem to do.

The air of pretentiousness continues on "Tangerine," with the line "Everyone is scared of showing people who they are." Browder seems adept at pointing fingers, but apparently considers himself above the scrutiny. If he's showing who he is with these songs, the words "bitter" and "pompous" come to mind. It's not a good combination. Songwriters like Max Bemis have made a career out of snarkiness, but his kiss-offs are either tongue-in-cheek or self-deprecating, so you almost can't help but root for him. After hearing these songs, you almost feel that Browder's superiority complex has earned him any negativity that's come his way.

The closer, "The Biggest Lie," is perhaps the most frustrating of all, though not lyrically. Browder's whispered vocal for the first three-and-a-half minutes, with minimal background music, are annoying. While some bands use soft whispers to great effect (Brand New on "Millstone"), on this song, they don't build up to anything; there's no payoff for your patience.

All that being said, Mansions' songs (except for "The Biggest Lie") sound pretty good. They fit in quite nicely with the many other current emo-flavored pop-rock bands. While it's nothing new stylistically, the performance and production on this record should acquire Mansions a lot of fans. All Browder needs to do now is write some relatable songs, sound less like a head case and he'll be on his way.

Recommended if You LikeThe Spill Canvas, Socratic, The Honorary Title

myspace.com/mansions
This review is a user submitted review from Jeremy Aaron. You can see all of Jeremy Aaron's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
03:16 PM on 06/26/08
#2
Iwudstilldie4u
UCSD's AP.net liaison
Offline
User Info.
Iwudstilldie4u's Avatar
Thank you for not lauding him for criticizing the scene...way over-done
I enjoyed the review and I like the brutal honesty of it
09:04 AM on 06/27/08
#3
LongDistanceDrunk
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
This review is wrong. He is criticizing the Louisville scene where he comes from. It is just sing/scream scene shit for the most part.I know there are some Indie bands but more shitty scene bands. He is calling these bands out on how their shitty and generic music is stupid.

I really enjoy this mainly because it is a local artist I'm actually proud of.
09:39 AM on 06/27/08
#4
Jeremy Aaron
Offline
User Info.
Jeremy Aaron's Avatar
This review is wrong. He is criticizing the Louisville scene where he comes from. It is just sing/scream scene shit for the most part.I know there are some Indie bands but more shitty scene bands. He is calling these bands out on how their shitty and generic music is stupid.

I really enjoy this mainly because it is a local artist I'm actually proud of.

Point taken. I certainly see a lot of musical potential here, but the songs just seemed one-dimensional from a lyrics standpoint, even if the opinions he expressed are valid. Some press has compared Mansions to Death Cab, but Death Cab doesn't waste their time writing songs about how shitty other bands are. In my mind, the way to prove you are better than those other bands is simply to write better music, not say how much better your music is in your song lyrics. That just makes you sound like a jackass.

Either way, I am anticipating the full-length release. I really want to like this guy because the music is mostly good, but his attitude makes him sound so unlikable.
06:01 PM on 07/03/08
#5
bloodyr0mance87
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
bloodyr0mance87's Avatar
very good, well-written review. i'm intrigued by this guy. the song he had on his profile a while ago was pretty good. i'm also anticipating the full length, especially since doghouse doesn't usually disappoint.
09:07 AM on 03/22/09
#6
MattRM
She didn't turn out to be that cool
Offline
User Info.
MattRM's Avatar
Oh wow, this review is awful.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate