Local Music Review: No Mañana
Local Music Reviews
Remember Last Night
No Mañana = Zedd + Calvin Harris
Ogden’s Alexis De Jesus and Brogan Campbell were focused on their own sonic projects when a collaboration transformed into the techno post-punk of No Mañana. With assistance from producer Aaron Sanchez and Blake Hall on percussion, they manifested their debut EP Remember Last Night. Last fall, No Mañana became a two piece after Hall’s passing. However, De Jesus and Campbell keep his memory alive within these tracks, and refer to Hall as their “guardian angel.” “He was our biggest fan, and [wasn’t] just our drummer but our personal manager. He lived the no Mañana lifestyle up ’till his passing,” De Jesus says. “I know he is beyond stoked for us,smiling in heaven.”
The EP opens with “Handle It,” a house extravaganza with semi-screamo vocals, cynical lyrics and dancey beats. “Hero” is a more rhythmically mellow and slightly ambient track, with a hefty heap of vocoder and a more of a vulnerable heart than its predecessor—albeit with equivalent cursing for hyperbole. “Party Animals” is a sudden surprise with a smashing guitar lick and a heightened complexity, deftly melding rock and techno. Lyrically, this track seems superficial and flippant, regarding mindless club culture, yet a subtext of desperation seems to underlie the message. However, this may be merely my desire to seek something deeper in what might be an honestly hedonistic narrative.
Remember Last Night continues with “Pool Table Drop,” a true techno and dubstep-fusion track with the repeating refrain of bitterness, especially about relationships and human interaction. The vocal layers on this track are slightly distracting and discordant in a manner that doesn’t help the trance energy of the track and serves mostly to frustrate, which may have been the intended effect. Just before the fourth minute, the track veers into a strange interlude, then turns silent for the remaining, nearly six-minute duration. This was either a production peccadillo or another intended disruption.
“Promises” continues Remember Last Night with a strange, sweet piano intro that transforms into full-electronic fatness yet retains a sadness and melodic melancholy as it meanders across the techno stage. The through-line synth sequence of the song is lovely, but, at moments, overly masked by trickery and beats. This track is perhaps the most promising of the collection, with a musicality similar to the more classically gifted of electronica such as Zedd.
With heavy electronic music being a more rare breed regionally, No Mañana look to be handling the genre well and with a little more heart, they have good ground to cover. –Paige Zuckerman