High energy and a good time is the hallmark of Burlington, Vermont’s Gang of Thieves. Nominated for “2013 Rock Act of the Year” by the New England Music Awards, Gang of Thieves cook up a stew of influences ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime to Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin. These Green Mountain funk-rockers have won over diverse audiences coast-to-coast, hitting the stage for the Vans Warped Tour on the one hand, and playing with monster Jam sensation Twiddle on the other. The key to this universal appeal is the infectious sense of fun and showmanship, delivered with a hint of spiritual and political awareness, without any preachy self-righteousness. The penchant for funky grooves that anchor the band’s original songs can be heard in their new EP “Mantra”, the followup to their highly praised “Thunderfunk” album recorded in Berkeley, CA with Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Santana, Rancid, Less Than Jake).