Since 2007, Mansions have maintained a tight focus on spare, delicate emo pop shaded with trembling guitars and reverb — the kind of restless, soul-searching music reminiscent of early Death Cab For Cutie or the softer side of Taking Back Sunday. But on their third official full-length, Doom Loop, the Seattle-via-Louisville duo turns anxieties and frustration outward: Mixed expertly by L.A. punk vet Steve McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!), the record cranks up the distortion and hones in on a confrontational stance: “I’ve got nothing left to prove/ No, I’m too tired to be the nice guy,” Christoper Browder howls repeatedly on “Climbers,” over screeching guitars and sheets of background noise that resemble a heavy downpour. The record heats to a boil repeatedly, touching on regrets (the soaring, Get Up Kids-like “100 Degrees”) and personal and financial betrayal (the grungy time bomb “Two Suits”). Distortion warps Browder’s vocals as he screams to be heard above discord. ” When Doom Loop does take an occasional breather — the plain acoustic guitars at the start of “Two Suits” or the wordless chorus surges on “Climbers” — the respites are brief, simply the band of a band fed up with everything catching its breath before launching back into full-on attack mode.
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