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Album Review: Mansions - Dig Up the Dead

Mansions' first record was a criminally underrated piece of emo singer-songwriter mastery (I use the word 'emo' as a loose term for emotional by the way). 'New Best Friends' evoked the rage of Brand New's 'Deja Entendu' and combined it with heart-wrenching stories, evoking a war against the opposite gender as well as the pop sensibilities of a pop record. Due to the off the radar nature of the debut album and a brief EP with Weatherbox, which was also as overlooked, there was a slight panic that this album would not be released, would Mansions be a one time thing? Thankfully the album was picked up and is to be released via Burning House Records.

There's not much progression from 'New Best Friends' in Browder's signature vocals, but honestly, there didn't have to be. The inclusion of more instrumentation brings forth a broader soundscape for Christopher Browder to carefully place his intricate and image-provoking lyrics onto. It's clear that Browder's intention for the album is for the listener to really hear the lyrics and it's in songs such as 'Blackest Sky' that he brings forth this kind of emotion into his lyrics with music that parallels this.

A personal highlight is 'You Got Cool', a major chord progression which is soon contradicted by Browder's emotional, southern croon. However, each song on this album is worthy of being a single, there isn't a point during this entire journey that you feel like changing the song or turning it down. This album is really something that must be shared and I would be surprised if it were to also fall into the black void of obscurity. Essentially, 'Dig Up the Dead' is a heavier, refined version of Mansions. With Browder combining fuzzy guitars with his trademark vocals and relatable lyrics, it's a must hear. There's also an acoustic version of the entire album which i'm going to flat out say, without even listening to it, that it is a good listen and equally as good.


'Dig Up The Dead' is available now on Burning House/Kings Bones.

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Words by George Gadd

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