|Album||‘Let Our Minds Be Languageless, Let Our Bodies Be Verbose’|
|Genre||Post-Rock / Ambient|
|Label||Any and All Records|
|Release||Feb 19 2013|
Manadala Eyes is the one-man solo project of Alex Alexander, who calls Fort Lauderdale, Florida his home. He is signed to Any and All Records, which if you didn’t know is a record label who’s only mission is to sign artists so that they don’t have to call themselves “unsigned” and offer no perks whatsoever. Anyhow, Mandala Eyes generally drifts towards the softer side of the post-rock realm and their latest wordily titled release ‘Let Our Minds Be Languageless, Let Our Bodies Be Verbose’ presents an array of unique occasionally non-traditional musical concepts highlighted by quirkiness and sometimes insanity.
Continuing the long-winded theme, the intro track is “I Love You More Than I Could Ever Dream of Imagining in Ten Thousand and One Lifetimes” and is a light yet heartfelt opening number that draws the listener in with playfully layered guitar tracks of different varieties. At ten minutes long, “Tree Hut” is a bit more on the experimental side again blending multiple guitar layers, including thick distortion guitar that when paired with open acoustic guitar compliment one another brilliantly. You can really get a sense of Alex’s musical influences in “Tree Hut” as offerings from the likes of Lowercase Noises and The Six Parts Seven really seep through Mandala Eyes own music in this offering.
At 17 minutes in length, “Moss Heart” is both the longest and best track on the album. This little number caught my attention last week and immediately captured my heart. Initially the song is forward, upbeat and catchy as hell and immediately strikes similarities to what you’d expect in a math-rock number, but it features a standard post-rock breakdown in the middle including an experimental, somewhat minimalist and ambient ramp up afterwards. As the song approaches its second half it comes full circle and continues to add layers to the mix before ending in a post-rock flurry. “Moss Heart” showcases Alex’s musical prowess and is just an all around fantastic track that deserves to be heard by masses of post-rock fans.
I’m not a big fan of the drone intro to “A Bridge Across Forever” but the rest of the track shores up nicely with a considerably more full sounding noise spectrum compared to the rest of the album. That being said, I do really like the ambient drone track “Going to Portland“, which throws some field recordings of birds chirping to go along with sleep inducing layers of drone guitar that play ever so slowly. “To Remain Astonished by the World, and yet Feel at Home in It” closes out the nearly 1 hour long album with a slow but somewhat quirky build up that leads into a fun, high energy finish that sees guitars screech and cymbals crash at will.
This is Alex’s sixth release since 2010 and while I’ll admit I haven’t had the time to check out his 2011 and prior work, If it’s anything like ‘Let Our Minds…‘ I’ll be quite happy. Mandala Eyes is one of those feel good bands that work their way into ipod and never seem to leave. It never ceases to amaze me what solo projects are capable of in the post-rock realm. Mark this one down as “Very Good” in my book!