By Felipe Rodriquez
It’s been four years since Real Estate has released a new record and although the band has seen a new lineup, former guitarist Matt Mondanile’s absence demonstrates an unfillable void with its new sound.
Real Estate’s new record “In Mind,” is a solid return from the band’s long break from songwriting.
Following the release of their last album, “Atlas.” Its dreamy riffs and and catchy hooks made them one of the most recognizable bands in the current indie scene.
With primary songwriter Martin Courtney taking full control on this record, not much has changed in response to the band’s basic song structures.
Courtney has always had a simplistic and minimal form of putting together a melody and that’s why their sound really hasn’t seen much change.
Mondanile was an essential mind that brought great ideas into Real Estate’s sound. His departure left the band struggling with trying to maintain the sound they were known for. With a good start on the track “Darling,” Real Estate demonstrates to listeners that although they’ve been gone for quite some time, they have not drifted far from their roots.
Although the record has its strong hits, many of the songs in this album fail to pack a memorable and recognizable sound. Many of these tracks feel like fillers and show how Mondanile was such an essential to their sound.
The absence of a catchy lead riff usually brought by Mondanile, brought songs together and not only added a punch but made them memorable. In comparison to their last record “Atlas,” one notable factor that made it stand out was the approach on crafting and emphasizing their unique lead melodies. Many of the songs in this record focus mainly on the rhythm component and fail to really grip listeners with a strong lead. Another notable thing Real Estate has added in this record is the use of more effects.
Some tracks on this record include different effects that the band has never used before. Some of the effects that are well noted throughout the record are the use of auto-wah and unusual phase shifters.
This demonstrated that Courtney brought these new effects in order to fill the sound Mondanile was known for. Although it was a good change, it does not really own up to what their past records have sounded like.
With Mondanile out of the picture, Real Estate struggles to fill the void their former guitarist had filled in so well. With that out of the way, “In Mind” is a solid record that has its own fair share of hits.
“In Mind” is available on other platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. The new record “In Mind” is out on Domino Recording Company.