Hailing from Leeds, funk rock band, Mantis State bring a mixture of acid jazz and alt rock into the fray with the single Empty Eyes.
Focusing on the experience of finding someone who has overdosed on drugs, and the attempt to help them. According to Mantis State, it is inspired by personal experiences, and the lyrics reflect that, with allusions to various signs of someone OD’ing described in detail.
There’s a very intense feel within the music, with every moment packed with something that’s both alt rock and alt jazz thrown in there. Right from the get go there’s a deep bass guitar, a selection of trumpet and saxophone, and an organ thrown in for good measure.
It never gives a moment of downtime and pushes the listener to a sensory overload in the best ways at several points. A standout moment is the big crescendo at the end, wherein there is a lull in the intensity, before an explosion of noise led by a screaming brass instrument, that hits a note for so high and so long it undoubtedly left someone blue in the face.
There’s a lot of praise to be given to Mantis State, for how tightly they can pack in elements to a song without making it just a noise soup. Instead they have a song that is filled with so many sounds that are all distinguishable at each second, and also succeed in delivering their message by not drowning out the lyrics.
Empty Eyes is an intense look at a particular moment that comes into some peoples lives unfortunately, that of finding someone overdosed. And they deliver a powerful, fun romp through what is going through someones head at that moment. But they don’t give in to the sadness of the situation, instead using the inspiration to make a bright and powerful song filled with oomph.