“Show me what you’re made of,” croons SINE’s main member Rona Rougeheart, atop a slow-burn minimal (but not “minimal wave”) beat. I found myself returning to this sentiment a bunch of times throughout the duration of MANTIS 1, the latest EP from SINE. “Attack”, the title of the opener, rides a single synth riff throughout its duration; it’s a cool riff, admittedly, and the swung house-music claps do much to keep the dancefloor alive. If there’s anything that ties together the whole EP, it’s mood; this slow burn tempo persists throughout much of the EP .”Future Whores” is a definite vibe switch from the opener, feeling more open, almost like a distorted version of a William Orbit track (and I mean that as praise.) Buzzsaw guitars sit comfortably next to fuzzy monosynths; “Until” explores a mellower vibe, with more of a rocky, dynamic feel.
“Blurred” is my personal favorite from the album; Mark Pistel’s glitchy, dirty industrial hip hop suits Rona’s vampy monotone very well, and I’d love to hear further collaboration from the two of them. “Control” closes out the EP with a retro 90’s-goth type track helmed by Curse Mackey (that checks out!), switching from roaring rock to noise to the familiar slow-burn dancefloor fare, sometimes with a whiplash change. The highs? This a VERY well produced EP, and both the mix and the sound choices work very well together. Sean Beavan, Mark Pistel, Curse Mackey and Charles Godfrey strike admirably similar vibes, which can be difficult when working with multiple producers. As for the lows, there’s never a moment where a track lets loose, where the energy and tension breaks into a big release; this may or may not be by design. Because of this, there’s the danger of a song feeling half formed. That being said, there’s always the next one to grow into your sound – and there’s a great deal of potential on display with SINE.