Here’s to leather jackets and shaggy bangs! The Mandates’ influences start at the Ramones and reach back through ‘70s power pop, with special credit due to the New York Dolls and Elvis Costello’s more upbeat moments. Eleven buoyant tracks of mid-tempo pop complete with walking basslines and squealing guitar flourishes. These guys dial the rock’n’roll nostalgia a couple notches higher even than like-minded contemporaries such as Future Virgins and the Marked Men. Twenty-first century Ramonescore is so susceptible to stagnancy, but the Mandates hit just the right balance of bubblegum and swagger. This band could easily have filled out any late ‘70s pop punk bill, but I’m glad they’re around now so I get a chance to catch them.
–Indiana Laub (Shake!, [email protected], experienceshake.com)