Undies reviews Mantra's "Speaking Volumes" out today.
Mantra - Speaking Volumes
Available: OUT TODAY Released By: Obese Records
Review By: Undies
There are certain MCs that just have natural talent and charisma on the mic, Mantra is the definition of a lyricist, proclaimed in oz
hip hop circles as your favouriteís rappers favourite rapper and itís so easy to see why. Starting his recording debut on The New Threat as
one half of the collective Equills with Whispa, it was clear too see he was going to be someone to watch. Pure
lyricism metaphors and intelligence are what makes him a great MC, he went on to form Illzilla a live collective where his socio
conscious lyrics, great delivery and passion lead to the success of the album Wasteland which was a slept on gem in its self, after this
Mantra was snapped up by Obese and made the powerful and unforgettable Power of the Spoken.
This has brought us to this release, and let me tell you the hype surrounding it is not for nothing. Mantra has always been a
talented lyricist, sure to have made potential competitors jealous over the years, he just makes it seems so easy. Speaking Volumes starts
off with the track Right Here, hard drum loops, guitar riffs and rapid fire lyrical delivery, with deep clever flows about droughts and
floods. The album literally leaps into the next track Speaking Volumes featuring Jeremedy, where they fire back and forth
over a bouncy yet minimalistic beat, speaking about volume itself. This track shows how clever they can be when they rhyme together and how natural
the partnership is. Voodoo Music is a flute infused track where Mantra fires off some ridiculously rapid and eloquent lyrics
boasting about his skills in a way that only rappers that are at his level of skill should do. ďLiving these passages written in vivid characters
ripping rappers to ribbons they reminisce in embarrassmentĒ is just one example of how gifted this MC is. The lead single Got Me Wrong
has an eastern feel to it with Parvyn Kaur Singh singing the obscure yet well placed hook, Mantra spits some
introspective rhymes here and itís sure to be a crowd favourite. Perth heavyweight Drapht joins Mantra here on Bad News
spitting back and forth and completely complimenting each otherís insane delivery.
I always though Mantra did the deep emotional and political tracks the best, this brings us to the next track This Evening,
with quotes such as ďonly when treated wrongly do we uncover what it means to do right, only through lies do we discover where the essence of
truth liesĒ we see Mantra close to his full potential. Perfect thing is a song about break up over a sparsely produced track
which lets itself down in the hook but on point lyrically as usual. Game Of Chance is another great track where he mentions his deceased
friend (more on that later as a whole track is magnificently dedicated to him later). Understand this has one great beat and the MC absolutely
dominates over it (like majority of the album actually). Self Destruct featuring Promoe from Looptroop is
an epic track and a highlight as well.
One of my favourite tracks is Family T.R.US.T which in a way reminds me of GZA's classic track I Gotcha Back. The
track is laced with strings and as great rappers do, a fluent use of acronyms. What is a classic album without the famed posse cut? The track named
Dead Em, which is basically just a bass line and a drum loop, features Illy, Jeremedy,
Urthboy, Muph and Solo, all big names in their own right. For You featuring Mark
Pearl is one of the most noticeable and hard hitting tracks on the album, as I mentioned early this track is dedicated to
Mantra's passed friend Honey and over a soulful beat Mantra spits his deep thoughts out and spills
his heart out. The album ends on the intensely political Stay Quiet which is the MCs forte and a great note to end on.
In short this is not an album to be missed, verbally flawless, great intelligent lyrics, one of the best deliveries in the game and of course great
production. Mantra has even outdone himself and is an MC that has been slept on for too long. I believe this is due to the fact that
his lyrics are probably a bit too clever and delivered in a manner that isnít accessible to everyone. Speaking Volumes is slightly more
accessible then his past works but is a gem all the same. Donít sleep on one of the best lyricists in Oz anymore, this is an album you will regret not
having. Show some support and your actions themselves will speak volumes.
Had a listen to this, it fucking kills. I gotta admit to not having heard Mantra's first album, but this is this shit. A benchmark for the quality,
lyricism and creativity that Australia should set itself by.
Originally posted by mattvanrooy
Just picked mine up today, fucken sick. go to obese records on chapel st melbourne and get a signed copy plus signed poster
I did just that. I don't know how it's even possible bu Mantra gets better with every album. At first listen I am enjoying this as much if not more
than Power Of The Spoken.
Too many heads slept on Wasteland maybe this will prompt them to dig it up.
Wasteland is one of the best releases from this country. IMO Mantra's solo's can't quite fuck wit it.
One thing I've been meaning to bring up is (LJ), have you noticed ATM that no one really posts in the stickied threads for the album reviews &
announcements. It seems that having two threads - one for the album announcement/release and one for the review is splitting the views and comments &
making the site somewhat un-consolidated. Just a thought, maybe put the reviews in the review section with a link in the thread and mention in the
title or vice versa.
glistening city lights lifted by shitty hyge, i take my urban life with a burbon dry
Have never heard 'Wasteland' but rate Mantra's solos and Equills highly - makes me want to go back and listen to Equills again actually, just to
really gauge the progression.
But yeah, what can you say about Mantronics (No Mantronix) on the mic. Dude really puts almost everyone else out there to shame.
And this news just at hand / Sorry for not trying to change the world through raw urban expressionism and thoughtful upliftment, but sometimes you
just have to write a track about throwing shit at cunts / P.S. RIP Alan. Your casual gait, and sensible yet stylish taste in shorts and long socks
will be missed by all / In my youth, I wouldn\'t have predicted that the high point of my adult life would be exposure to a t-shirt depicting
Putin as a unicorn. But here we are./ Got half you blokes laughing at me, other half starting on me, julie wanting me money, i mean jesus whats the
point of even being straight i mays well just choof drink snort what ev / Gotta thank those vikings and all those years of gene mixing thanks to
pillaging and rape...both get a bad rap in these modern times but look what it brought us / All you swag fuckheads need to stop putting out mixtapes,
pretending to be people anyone gives a fuck about, donate your cool hats/hoody and kicks combos to the salvos and shut your fucking cuntholes / I felt
a bit dirty finger banging her right there infront of family but im pd so i said fuck that shit and kept going / Whilst u morons are trolling us old
geeks were balls deep in you young gf's anus. lenses all fogged up and sht. Weezing.
Yeah I agree, Wasteland is a very good album. Not a filler on there.
Still, Speaking volumes is a quality record, I liked Power of The Spoken as well but this is definitely a step-up from that.
Define slept on???? I personally don't think he's ever been slept on, anyone who listens to ozhiphop I've ever come across knows who mantra is and
classes him as one of the best, I think the term gets thrown around a bit to much.
Got me wrong
Pretty marvelous story
Game of Chance
Nobody Knows im famous