Electric synth alt-pop trio Mortar and Pestle released their self entitled EP earlier this year and the six track record is an excellent showcase of what I hope to be a very prolific band for the future.
Opener “U.V.” is possibly the poppiest of the track. It has a chilled shuffle beat and the synths are extremely warm and vibrant as they pulse and radiate their melodies. It’s not a fast track but it’s got a rock steady beat and the track feels full. Lead vocals are handled expertly in what is a star turn. Janaysa’s voice is strong and bold. It can flex with the diva’s and push a simple melody into a strong force. Where this first becomes apparent is in the lead single “Pristine Dream” which features an infectious melody by Paul on the electric keyboard. Daniel’s drums constantly trip and change-up and what is essentially a sparse arrangement then becomes a track that is bursting with life. Switching from fast verses to slow building choruses is a great switch up too.
“Lady 7” then goes broody instead of spiky where the perfect pitch of electric piano, vocals and drums effortlessly transitions from lumbering rolling thoughts to epic stadium flourishes and finales. It’s a monster of a track and a real highlight – especially Janaysa’s vocals at the end. “Lighthouse” pulls out some dreamy synths and clever arpeggios to create a spacious feel that is given a weightless feel with the vocal effects. Again, M&P’s ability to switch tempos and moods at the flick of a metronome plays into their hands beautifully here too. “Switchblade Bandita” is a great title and it has a great hook. There’s something very 70’s about the sumptuous electric keys and soulful vocals. It’s possibly their most direct track off the EP and would do very well in lounges. The ending is particularly effective and dramatic. Staying with the more emotive “Electric Angel” closes the EP with a powerful vocal delivery while effective use of sparse effects really hit the message home.
Put simply, the talent is smeared over every single track. It’s beautiful from start to finish and each member effortlessly interacts with each song perfectly. Easily one of the most exciting new finds of 2013 for me. Amazing.