September 24, 2016 – Lawrenceville, GA – Sportsline Bar & Grill
Let me please start off with an apology to all of our NY and LA readers and musicians for the following comment: Fuck LA and NY, Atlanta still has some of the best rock musicians in the country! I don’t know how we ever became hip hop capitol of the nation because “Hotlanta” was, and is still, about rock. From Mother’s Finest to Atlanta Rhythm Section or REM to B-52’s, not to forget Mastadon and others. Which brings me to New Mantra.
I did not think I would experience ringing in my ears until Slayer in October, but damn, this band rocked the house like you would not believe. They played three sets in a timeframe of about 4 hours. Rarely does a band play this long. Unbelievable!
New Mantra is from Athens, GA. They used to call themselves Athens, but due to copyright issues had to call themselves The Athens Band so they changed the name. The band consists of Chase Brown and Beau Anderson on guitars, Zak Smith on drums and Justin Granados on bass and vocals. This line-up has been around since 2009 and they are ages 18-21. Their show consists of a mix of own compositions and covers, which were perfectly performed.
I did not know this band beforehand, but was told they are bad ass, and that’s exactly what they were. They kicked ass right from the start. Take a peek:
The first set continued with covers of Foghat, Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, Ted Nugent, Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin. They play a mean Zeppelin I tell ya. I was surprised when the bass player handed the bass to the vocalist and took hold of a guitar. So they play several instruments too, cool.
The first set also included one of their self written titles “Stone Cold Love”.
The second set started off with a Mother’s Finest cover of “Truth’ll Set You Free” followed by some of the band’s own songs (I was unable to get a set list from the band as they had improvised and changed their set during the gig). The whole time they were on stage, Chase and Justin were switching the bass back and forth, it was phenomenal. Other covers of this set included songs from Jet, Foo Fighters and some Rage Against the Machine as well as Led Zeppelin. Towards the end of the second set they were really jammin’ it, it was a really fun experience.
The third and final set started with an original song and continued with Motorhead, Black Crows, Rage Against the Machine, and among others, Alice In Chains. When it was time for Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, a guest singer stepped on stage, and she really brought it just as good as the band. Too bad I didn’t get her name. After Nirvana’s “Breed” the next surprise, Justin took to the drums and Zak, the drummer, grabbed the mic. These dudes can do it all. Iron Maiden and Beastie Boys completed this evening.
Conclusion: This band rocks! They kick ass! They rule! When was the last time a band rocked your socks off for almost four hours?! And free?! They could easily ask for paying guests, I know I would pay to see them. Damn, this band should be rockin’ all over America. If New Mantra is in your town, I suggest you go see them. No, I command you go see them! You will not be disappointed. I promise!
They also have a self produced CD available, which I was lucky to get a hold of. Keep your eyes posted to Project Metal Music for a possible review.
You can follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AthenstheBand/
and ReverbNation https://www.reverbnation.com/newmantra
as well as Twitter @newmantraband