Released: 2005, House of Retribution Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Mardo is a bit of an oddball act. The cover of their debut looks like a psychedelic gig poster advertising a show at The Fillmore circa 1967 but the music is a mix of 60s Brit pop, 70s hard rock and an almost unrecognizable cover of an 80s Huey Lewis & The News track. Drawing influence from everyone from Cheap Trick, The Beatles, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy and Oasis, MARDO is not really my cup of tea but with the glam rock scene getting a bit of a revival thanks to The Darkness and Velvet Revolver, this album just might have come at the right time.
“Anyone But Me,” “Cold Creepin’,” and “Hey Girl!” are catchy rock tracks with big choruses that will rouse the arena rock crowds. The Cheap Trick/KISS influence is immediately evident on “Cold Creepin’”s powerful opening riff and crashing cymbals. This song simply smokes! “Poor Paul” is full of British Invasion ambience with nods to The Kinks and even The Who but at the opposite end of the spectrum finds “I’m The One,” a piano ballad as cheesy as KISS’ “Beth.” The biggest surprise, though, has to be the radical reworking of Huey Lewis & The News’ seminal 80s hit, “I Want A New Drug.” Gone is the saxophone and instantly recognizable riff and in their place is a fuzzed out guitar and lots of trippy vocals. Unique but I’ll stick with the original thank you very much.
Mardo’s music strikes me as a bit too conveniently timed. Granted, the two brothers wear their influences clearly on their sleeves but I cannot help but think of MARDO as a novelty record, much like The Darkness. As much as I love to hear a crunching riff wrapped around a stadium-sized “How ya doin’ tonight” type of chorus, some things are best left as nostalgia and why go for a rehash when the original is just a click of the FM dial away?
KILLER KUTS: “Anyone But Me,” “Cold Creepin’”