Okay, so I feel pretty stupid. Local pop-rock guys Mansion have been floating around this city for a long, long, long time, and I’ve somehow managed to avoid them for just about the whole time. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I finally caught them live recently at one of David Cobb’s Houston Calling shows at The Proletariat, and holy fuck. I haven’t seen an indie-rock trio that good in quite a while, maybe not even since I caught Silver Scooter at a jaw-dropping show back in the day at The Oven (yes, that long ago).

In fact, the Silver Scooter comparison’s pretty apt, really, because Mansion do that superfuzzed drone thing I loved so much about those long-departed Austinites astoundingly well, using the bass as if it were basically a really big, really deep guitar and driving the melody straight into your skull. Live they were freakin’ great, so much so that when I finally heard their debut album, feetpersecond, from way back in 2000, I figured, “okay, there’s no way this’ll compare even remotely to the band live, but eh, it should be interesting, at least.” Boy, howdy, is it — the sound you hear is me smacking myself in the forehead repeatedly. This is what happens when you become a homebody shut-in, dammit…

At any rate, feetpersecond is good. Good enough, to my ears, that I’m a little stunned I hadn’t had this forced on me ’til now. Heck, it’s almost a little overwhelming at 22 tracks, particularly since there’s very little filler in there. Geoff Bay’s guitars roar and churn like something Bob Mould would’ve played in his heyday (sorry, Bob, but I just don’t get the dance thing), Thatcher Focke’s bass rumbles and charges, and Matt Renfro’s drums propel the whole thing along. There’s plenty of ’90s indie-rock going on, but I hear bits and pieces of all kinds of stuff on here, from Hüsker Dü to Seam to Sonic Youth to murky spy-music (“Disco Internationale”), and it somehow all meshes together to form a cohesive whole that sounds, well, pretty much like Mansion. Which is a good thing, trust me. Hard to believe, but feetpersecond‘s just surged to the top of my Damn Good Local CDs pile.

Now for the really good news: when I asked Bay if they had any CDs I could buy, he handed me mine and said, “Take it, it’s my last one.” When I tried to refuse and offered to pay for it, he waved me off and told me it was seven years old by now and not to worry about it; then he added the band would be releasing a new disc in the near-near-near future. This time, I swear I’ll be paying attention.

Post by . This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007. Filed under Past Bands.

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