The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
Sweden’s Mando Diao returns with another album after 18 months of straight touring before working on the album with “Ode to Ochrasy” a made up word by the band that is supposed to mean the couple of hours after the band is playing the show. If you’re not familiar with these guys, join the club. They’re underground garage rock type stuff with some pop sensibility; think Jet with more dimensions. The first three tracks on the album are outstanding. “Welcome Home Luc Robaitalle” is as strange of a song as it is a title; ditto that with “Killer Kaczinski.” “The Wildfire (If it Was True)” is a decent song, but during that track something happens and these guys start to slump off into doing the same tings for the next 3 or 4 tracks. It’s not to say that it’s not good; it just starts to run together.. Luckily for music fans things pick up creatively in a big way on “TV & Me” and everything after the track. On “TV & Me” the band starts a Killers-type song done Swedish style with some soft vocals. Then on “Josephine” there is an excellent rhythm to the track with some slower guitar parts that really showcase the songwriting. Sometimes less is more, and with Mando Diao that’s true. The shorter songs are better and the songs that are more stripped down than others are better too. Running in at 2:40 and being a stripped down track, “Josephine” is the best track on the disc. “The New Boy” is similar to “Josephine” but although it’s good, somehow it’s just not as good. After “The New Boy” things pick up with another eccentric upbeat track “Morning Paper Dirt”, which has a better chorus than the other upbeat numbers on OTO. The last three tracks on this disc are also notable; “Good Morning Herr Herst” can be described as Swedish-Alt-Country. Weird. “Song for Aberdeen” is catchy in everyway. And “Ochrasy” is amazing at worst. The song has powerful vocals in front of one acoustic guitar with deep lyrics and a creative twist at the end that will haunt you. Mondo Diao has more creativity than most bands that do this retro UK crossover stuff, and the songs are generally just better than a band like say The Kaiser Chiefs. This is a good release from a band most haven’t heard of. If you’re into Jet, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, and other bands like that, check these guys out. They’re better than any of them I just mentioned.