» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Mando Diao
Bring 'Em In
Mute Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
To dig up Mando Diao's hot trouser bulge for the height of Beatles hysteria in the US on the venerable Mute label was quite a surprise. The band employs the marketable aspects of the burgeoning Swedish garage rock movement with high wire new-school Brit-pop sensibilities. The band careens all over the road, from treble-rich, high-octane, head-wagging slop pop to gritty, bare-knuckle rock and roll with all of the blues and noise overtones you could ever hope for. For all of their shape-shifting antics Mando Diao is essentially following the lead of front men Bjrn Dixgrd and Gustaf Norn's acrobatic voices.

After sinking their claws in early with the catchy vocal hooks of the Strokes-y opener "Sheepdog" the band lets loose and heads all over the place. The second offering is a linear progression to more cookie-cutter garage rock, but by the third song ("Motown Blood") Mondo Diao are off to the races, tossing in a rich dose of searing attitude that sizzles like a watered-down version of something off The Blackouts' Everyday Is a Sunday Evening. From there it's anyone's guess, with nods to Danzig, Lou Reed, The Kinks, MC5, Elvis and others. They get all screechy on "Paralyzed", all gospel on "Lady" and all everything in all the right places on "Mr. Moon".

The British Invasion meets full on with the Swedish revival on Bring 'Em In and it certainly has to be applauded as a more diverse effort than the rest of the neo-garage herd that is rolling through popular culture right now. But at the end of the day the album is nice but still largely forgettable. Mando Diao are seasoned craftsmen at their brand of rock and roll, but there's nothing overly engaging to make you think they're anything but throwback roll players.

Reviewed by Clifton Gates
Currently sleeping on beaches in Costa Rica, Clifton Gates is an occasional contributor, editor, idea springboard and moral crutch to LAS magazine.

See other reviews by Clifton Gates



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