After Australia’s TREEHOUSES, Galician emo indie rockers MENTAH might be my new best thing in sad, hearty tunes category. Influenced by the likes of Karate, American Football, Nada Surf, etc., the Ferrol based duo just released their debut EP and through its nostalgic, tender, yet dynamic appearance, it balances almost cinematic instrumentals, steeped in chilly emo vibes, with smartly layered songs that subtly reflect their bitter-sweet lyrics that we breakdownin the track-by-track feature below.
The band commented:
We recorded ”New Beginning” in “La Cortina Roja” recording studio (A Coruña). The work and advice of Fernando Mejuto and Gabriel Suarez were fundamental to us. Both of them are musicians that have played in bands like Ictus and Carontte and have been around for a long time in the underground scene. They helped us a lot finding the best way to use the effect pedals in order to get the greatest presence of bass and creating a big sound in the record even though it’s only two of us in the band.
You and me
In Mentah we were facing some challenges we had never faced before. The two of us had always played in faster punk and post hardcore bands and had never played as a duo…
At the beginning we were missing the sound of a bass guitar, but at the same time we loved the easiness of being just two, so we decided to go ahead and start messing around with all the effect pedals that could help us sound bigger: octave, delay, reverb, compressor, chorus pedals… All these together with powerful drums, and a big presence and prominence of bass pedal to help us forget the absence of a bass guitar. This song reflects everything this band is: an emoish arpeggio, big presence of drums and parts with more strength and power. Practically all our songs follow this pattern. “You and me” talks about the two different lives that many of us live. We disappear from Monday to Friday, forgetting about who we are, what motivates us and what we love and only some days we let go and experience that part of us that really keeps us alive.
The band’s sound came naturally. We started rehearsing together as a duo to see what came out and little by little we realised that we had slowed the tempo and felt comfortable doing so. The only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted melody to be the most important aspect of every song, and with that in mind, have complete freedom. “New Beginning” was one of the first songs we wrote and it’s about how difficult it is to start over, facing the unknown, and how this, at the same time, keeps you alive. It’s about creating closer links with the people you face new challenges with. This song is about the two of us after a pretty fucked up year we had.
This was also one of the first songs we composed. It never sounded the way we wanted it to when we rehearsed it. We didn’t play it live until a short time ago. It’s one of those songs that you know that some day, as if by magic, will start sounding the way you want it to. And it happened just like that. At the end it became one of our favourites, even making it to the EP. It’s about the first steps of a child in a new hostile city. Half fiction, half autobiographical.
When we entered the recording studio we had about 15 songs and new that we wanted to record about 6. 4 of them are in the EP and the other two we’ll use in the future for a split record with another band. It wasn’t easy to choose which ones to record. “Routine” was out of our list until the very end. We thought of a faster and noisy song to break out with the rest of the EP. But we finally thought that it worked pretty well with the other three songs and it made the cut. The lyrics are about how great it is to live the simple life, appreciating the small things and routines when you are in good company. We live in a small city where everything goes slow and we feel comfortable living like that.