Waterbury-based alternative rock band Mandala is made up of Abe Azab (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Morgan Fasanelli (Lead Vocals), Pat Mulholland (Lead Guitar), Matt Rosano (Bass), and Sean Connelly (Drums). Recently, the five-piece has dropped their new EP, Damsel In Defense. It is their first release since 2017’s Cash for Smiles.
Damsel in Defense is another solid showing from the Waterbury band. Essentially taking everything that the band did well on Cash for Smiles and stepping it all up a notch, this new EP features impassioned vocals, ample pop hooks, a tight rock performance, and a newfound focus in songwriting. One of the most appealing aspects of Mandala is how well the band balances the emotional weight of each band member’s presence. On vocals, Fasanelli sounds downright soulful at times–emotionally vulnerable but also empowered. Instrumentally, the band juxtaposes guitars light and airy, but also intricate and punchy. Rhythmically, the band operates in invigorated unison, with bass and drum arrangements taking already strong songs and making them danceable. With a name like Damsel in Defense, there is an inherent defiance found in the in the content of the album, but Mandala makes them sound as pleasant as these waning days of summer.
Listen to Damsel in Defense by Mandala on Bandcamp below and Spotify here.