Opposite Day, Mandukhai EP

Opposite Day, Mandukhai EP

The Mandukhai EP marks Opposite Day’s latest release; they regard it as an EP even though it has nine tracks. What’s so impressive about these guys is to see their growth from disc to disc. Mandukhai marks a crowning achievement to me, because while they never lose their personality as a band and their art-rock quirkiness, this release shows a tighter, more focused Opposite Day.

Everything is stronger, from the production value to the band’s cohesiveness to vocalist Sam Arnold’s singing. And while a good many of their fans may fault them for this, Mandukhai is by far Opposite Day’s most “commercial” release. That’s not saying much, though, as there are still colors of jazz, progressive, Spanish, and surfer-rock. I’d once been critical of Opposite Day’s album What is is? because I felt it was lyrically so out there, but on the new EP, after a brief instrumental introduction called “What is is? (Part II),” they break into “Wolves,” which is a perfect pop-prog masterpiece. It was like they could read my mind about my reservations from before and said, “Here, Dre, here’s a song for you.” And it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs of the year.

That’s not to say Opposite Day has gone pop. They’ve always had a pop edge to them, but lyrically, they’re just slightly less over the place on this disc which I appreciate. But if you’re familiar with Opposite Day, when I say they’re less over the place, that still means they’re out there. Then there are a few awesome instrumentals they’ve thrown in, from “Carrots!” to the surfer-infused title track “Mandukhai.”

I don’t know if it matters, but Mandukhai was an Empress of Mongolia who ruled over the Northern Yuan Dynasty from 1449 to 1510. I take it by the band’s ode to her that she did a ton of surfing…

Feature photo by Kimberly Sasser.

(Future Banana Replacement; Opposite Day -- http://www.oppositeday.com/)

Review by . Review posted Monday, November 8th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “Opposite Day, Mandukhai EP”

  1. Dan Workman on January 23rd, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Sam Arnold is a TOTALLY bent genius. Glad O.D. is getting
    your attention!

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