“I want this record to be a kick in the teeth. I want people to go listen to some other rock record they think is cool, and now that record sounds tame and turned down in comparison.”
- Christopher Browder on Doom Loop
Christopher Browder started Mansions as a solo project in 2007 in his native Louisville, KY. Mansions recorded their first “official” record, New Best Friends, in 2008. The record’s release was delayed until the following year, and, anxious to get things moving, Mansions released a brace of EPs to fill the gap. This period of intense creativity changed Browder’s approach to songwriting, and by the time New Best Friends was released the band had already moved past that period in their sound and live performance.
Dig Up The Dead, Mansions sophomore album, was recorded over six months in the various houses and apartments Browder found himself in all across the Southeast. This deeply personal album is a candid and compelling look into a person’s psyche in the midst of growth, accompanied by nostalgia and anxiety. After its recording Browder felt ready for a change, and along with bassist Robin Dove he relocated to Seattle, WA.
The Northwest proved a good fit, but when the time came to write Doom Loop Browder found himself in an unusual situation. As Mansions he’d released over a dozen EPs and played hundreds of live shows, but he was about to write what was only his third proper record. “People started talking about us as a fuzz pop band, but the old records didn’t really sound like that” says Browder – “So we decided to actually make that record.” On Doom Loop Mansions sounds supremely confident, taking certain components that existed on previous releases and bringing them to their more extreme next step based on the live sound forged on the road. Mansions newest release is simultaneously a departure from earlier work while being a logical continuation of Browder’s established aesthetic.
The sonics are thick on Doom Loop, and Browder fears no hook. “I’ve thought about avoiding a big chorus or not being super melodic – but I realized that’s just not who I am” notes Browder. “I like pop songs, yet at the same time I like things a little fucked up and distorted. Might as well run the vocals through a guitar pedal.”
Written and recorded primarily in Browder’s Capitol Hill apartment, the sounds on Doom Loop were shaped by the constraints of the environment. While perhaps not technically correct, creative solutions lead to the creation of one very loud record. With the basic tracking complete, Mansions recruited John Momberg (Appleseed Cast, Koufax) to record the drums and Jim Vollentine (Spoon) to engineer them. Once the drums were in the can Steve McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!) tackled the final mix.
Noisy and raw, full of shiny, shout-along hooks, and wrapped in a warm fuzz blanket, Doom Loop is immediately engaging. Whether or not all other music will sound tame and turned down in comparison is yet to be determined…