Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Psych rock debut "The Mandrax Experiment" from MANDRAX


Psych rock debut "The Mandrax Experiment" from MANDRAX

No sooner did Fuzzy wrap up his review of the psych rock / prog metal blend of GHOST FROG, than I received the debut album "The Mandrax Experiment" from MANDRAX. This thing explodes with enough heavy psychedelic energy to pound your head for days. Check it out on Bandcamp:

The experiment blasts right out of the gate with the opening track, and then quickly switches gears with the much slower and spacier "Slime Soaked Spaceships." Fuzzy loves slime, and I also love a psych album that embraces experimentation. Psychedelic music is all about trying out different sounds, instruments, and approaches, and Mandrax wastes no time in demonstrating them all. 

The third song gives us another amphibian reference ("March of the Frogs") so here's my chance to shamelessly make a reference to The Swamp's FROGLORD who knows more than a few things about slimy fuzz. 

Another thing that sets Mandrax apart from most other recent psych albums, is the amount of bass on this thing. The whole rhythm section really drives this whole album, and provides a massive foundation for the guitars and vocals to do their trippy stuff. 

Mandrax really puts the "experiment" into this album, with the above-mentioned variety of sonic styles, and in particular, the band has put a lot creativity into the vocals. Multiple voices delivered in different ways, with layers and effects to add unique tones to each song. 

If you want your psych to have an edge and take you into new directions, then "The Mandrax Experiment" was made just for you. It will be interesting to see if Mandrax sticks with their experimental style on their next album, or if they select one of these styles and stick with it. I kinda hope they continue trying out new sounds, but I'd also enjoy a full album based on any of the songs on "The Mandrax Experiment."

Fuzzy's Favorite: "Bar of Evil" although it's easy to make the case that each song stands out for a different reason given the amount of experimentation going on here. For a purely instrumental track, the self-titled "The Mandrax Experiment" is also a great jam. 

From the band: 

Mandrax is a New Jersey-based psychedelic and progressive rock band formed in 2018 by Vocalist/Guitarist Richie Borman and Drummer Anthony Trimarco. Channeling vibes from Progressive icons like Frank Zappa, Yes, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson, Mandrax will scratch the itch for those looking for modern rock music that is both derivative and innovative.

Follow Mandrax on Bandcamp at https://mandraxtheband.bandcamp.com

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