• Tiana Speter

ALBUM REVIEW: Recalibrate (NO MANDATE)


ALBUM Recalibrate // ARTIST No Mandate


Leave your inhibitions at the door and prepare to immerse in some textured grooves, grit and boisterous bedlam as Sydney dub/punk progsters No Mandate defy parameters and presumptions on their long-awaited debut full-length Recalibrate due out in just a few short days.

Starting life back in 2017 with the intention to "close the gap between King Crimson and King Tubby", Sydney trio No Mandate are a rare breed; comprising a cornucopia of diversity and potency alongside a lust for immersive arrangements, No Mandate are well and truly a burgeoning authority on the atypical topic of math-dub-punk infusions. With two EPs and 30+ gigs in their wake (plus balancing other musical projects on the side), 2021 will see this Sydney trio take their biggest step yet, with their first ever full-length release looming in the very near future. And while the tastes and textures lying in wait on the impending Recalibrate may be an acquired taste for those accustomed to more traditional fare, there's a whole universe of madcap mischief and mayhem centred around instrumental dub, progressive structures and au naturel punk lying in wait across the space of seven tracks coiled to delight, surprise and just generally thrash your senses.


Hurtling in technicolour out of the gate, opening track Thursday vehemently sets the tone for things to come, dripping in slinky dub grooves and prismatic shifts as No Mandate flit between shimmering post rock flourishes and an unconventional surf rock-laced underbelly, before title track Recalibrate introduces vocals to the mix. Complete with frontman Jochen Gutsch offering a dark swagger to proceedings, Recalibrate finds the No Mandate gents begin to fully explore the broader gamut of their math and rockier persuasions, while teasing the trio's rampant passion and energy their live shows are increasingly renowned for.

Following on, a brief raucous instrumental interlude (Nothing To Declare) bursts into frame, before Recalibrate burrows deeper and deeper into scintillating territories, with salacious experimental dub (747 Dub), creamy progressive rock ballads (Hamster Wheel) and dissonant neon ferocity (Other Brother) reigning supreme for the bulk of the album. But just when you think you've traversed the full No Mandate experience, closing track Keep The Change barrels in, trashes the room and abruptly departs with this 53 second punk bad-boy ending proceedings on a sharp and breathless note.


In a world of homogeneous output and sonically playing it safe, No Mandate undeniably hit the mark of innovative finesse, splicing moments of approachable composition with tantalising complexity. Brimming with raw tension and sparkling technical know-how, Recalibrate certainly makes good on the band's underlying promise to bridge the chasm between billowing progressive rock and infectious dub. Ultimately offering a refreshing and captivating journey, Recalibrate an undeniable must-visit for fans of Picasso-esque sonic adventures, and/or anyone in need of a hectic groove or two.



NO MANDATE'S DEBUT ALBUM RECALIBRATE OFFICIALLY RELEASES THIS THURSDAY APRIL 15, FOR MORE INFO, INCLUDING ALBUM LAUNCH NEWS, HEAD HERE.

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BY TIANA SPETER