Re-tooled Lord Mantis Unveils “Safer” New Track
Sometime in 1985, Van Halen parted ways with their frontman David Lee Roth. Nobody on Earth thought of it as a smart move for band leader Eddie Van Halen to have watched him go (or fired him, or drunk-forgot who he was), so central was Roth to the VH vibe and success. Yet, the next phase of Van Halen represented a high-IQ maneuver, by accident or not: With new vocalist Sammy Hagar, VH was so distinct in vibe that fans could simply view them as a new band unrelated to Roth’s VH. Liberated by that act of mental uncoupling, fans could love the poppy, middle-aged Van Halen. Totally clean slate. To it we even assigned a new name: Van Hagar.
Lord Mantis, on the other hand, don’t want to be viewed as a new version of the band they were just two years ago before their major line-up change. Frontman Charlie Fell is long gone — his debut at the helm of USBM titans Cobalt arrives tomorrow — but new Lord Mantis’ first jam “SIG Safer” wipes no slates clean for fans; it attempts the sound of Death Mask, Fell’s opus of scum sludge from 2014. Knowing what we know about their split, can fans convene a new jury for New Lord Mantis? Or is what the band is attempting tantamount to a body-switch: You’ve laid down with your hot gf, but open our eyes mid-bang to find her so-so friend beneath you kinda making the same groaning noises so you wouldn’t notice.
New Lord Mantis’ debut EP NTW is out April 29 via New Density. Pre-order here.