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Mando Diao not surprising


By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 7, 2005
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Mando Diao - Hurricane Bar (EMI)
7 out of 10

Although pacifist Sweden may put more emphasis on clogs than war boots, it has somehow managed to produce a band that kicks more ass than Uma Thurman with a machete.

Mando Diao, garage-rock modsters who hail from the city of Borlange, have channeled the passionate energy of The Clash and The Who while adding a current flavor to the music. Listening to their newest album Hurricane Bar, named after a popular Britpop club in their hometown, conjures up images of today's rock-and-roll kings The Strokes and The Hives.

Depending on your taste, this may be Mando's most cherishable characteristic, or their biggest mistake.

Although they fashion nearly flawless pop songs and melodies, there are few elements of originality in their sound.

The album begins with the short and to the point "Cut the Rope," screaming out to the listener what is in store: infectious melodies propelled by simple rhythms and rough guitar.

The lyrics are traditionally punk rock; complaining about government organizations like the police bossing people around.

"Measures up for the fines that we paid today/And for those who couldn't run away/Well they got beaten up and thrown in jail." Although this may not happen to everybody, we can all relate to the feelings conveyed; throwing your money away never sits well on the stomach.

Typical songs about love and rejection like "Down in the Past," "If I Leave You," and "This Dream is Over" are also instantly easy to connect with, but seem generic.

The album concludes on a different note though, as the simplistic but catchy pop tunes are replaced with a strange but moving Bowie-esque ballad complete with extra-terrestrial lyrics and a quirky guitar solo. A surprising move from a non-surprising band.



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