Thomas D. Ryan | New York | 11/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How did such ostensibly nice Swedish working-class lads come up with a name like Mando Diao? To an English-speaking-skewed mind like my own, it's a bit misleading, and before listening, I figured them for a Portuguese pop act, or a Brazilian rock band. Well, it'll be a cold day in hell before these guys warm up for the Gypsy Kings, and if they ever do, I hope that a few ambulances are at hand, because they will leave the crowd shell-shocked. Mando Diao are the latest (and one of the best) bands in the recent onslaught of fresh, pure rock and roll coming from the outposts of Europe. I don't want to compare them to the Strokes, the Hives, or Jet, although the temptation is strong. There's a bit of the Clash meets Generation X about their sound, more than a touch of Oasis about their pub-based image, and even a hint of the Beatles in their one/two punch of dual singer/songwriters. Too many new bands determine their posture before they develop a sound, but Mando Diao sound as if they are doing what comes naturally, and having some fun while doing it.
Hurricane Bar progresses with a wild abandon that suits the album title. The sound is youthful energy, slightly naïve but also self-aware. The lyrics are almost totally indecipherable - and even the lyric sheet doesn't help much, since the words rarely make much literal sense - but there are substantial hooks all over the record, and melodies that suck you in and don't let go. I don't know what song will be chosen, but "Clean Town" ought to be the first single, since it fires on all cylinders and does the best job of summing up the band's unique way of making a train wreck sound melodic and fun. Pardon my filthy mind, but "Down in the Past" (one of the few tunes where I could discern some meaning to the words) could (and should) do just as well, provided conservative radio stations don't pick up the same sexual allusions that I do.
Although most of the CD rocks like a garage band on steroids, there are moments of genuine diversity that proves them to be more than a one trick pony. "Added Family" is a moody tune that suggests vintage Robyn Hitchcock, while "All My Senses" features an organ break that makes cheeky reference to the Doors' "Light My Fire". There's even a charming acoustic tune called `Ringing Bells" which helps to pace the record quite nicely.
Today's pop charts might indicate that the glory days of rock and roll are long over, but the current upsurge in talented, hard-hitting bands indicates otherwise. At present, the movement is limited to those with `alternative' tastes, but bands like Mando Diao sound destined for fame and fortune. Who knows, maybe this Swedish band with a Portuguese-sounding name might be the next in line to prove, once again, that rock and roll will never really die. A- Tom Ryan"
This album changed my life
Mathias Van Wie | London, UK | 12/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Editorial Review (provided by Amazon above) is EXTREMELY misleading when it chides Mando Diao for lacking creativity. As a musician, a music enthusiast, and a music fan, I have to say this album (and it's predacessor) have convinced me that a few bands are still in the business of making beautiful music for fun. Perhaps the overdriven Gibson through an old vox amp reminds some people of other bands...but to assert that Mando Diao are copying the Kinks is a joke and shows an amateur bent for appreciating good music. The Kinks could learn quite a bit from Mando Diao. Words don't do this album justice. Have a listen!"
Your Mom | USA | 01/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for some new stuff to get into, this is definitely the CD to buy. It's really good and full of awesome songs. You'll be the coolest kid on the block and people will ask you "Hey what you are listenin' to?" and you'll say "Mando Diao." and then they'll say "Never heard of them, but they're really good. Can you burn me a copy?" It's that good. Can't Steal My Love and Down in the Past are my favorite songs. Definitely check them out."