Writing this review is somewhat akin to writing an obituary as Mondo Cada hung up their guitars before this release even hit the streets…and this is a damn shame as these guys had that certain something that set them apart as special. I understand that some of the members have resurfaced in a new outfit going by the name of Ruins though so hopefully the magic will continue.
So, what of this, yet another release from the consistent and innovative Calculon Records stable? Seven tracks, each with a strong identity of their own but displaying a fully realised band. Is this an EP or a very short album in the golden tradition of hardcore from whence these guys obviously draw some strong influence. Mondo Cada plunder rock’s history from the last 30 years to create a monster of their own that pulls from Amphetamine Reptile’s spiky art rock to Black Flag style hardcore to kick ass metal to acoustic introspection.
Opening track “The Creature Was” sets out the Mondo Cada stall from the off as a barely perceptive acoustic guitar gives way to some crushing yet spasmodic guitar and retentive spoken vocals. “Glass Shard” hits the hardcore throttle hard with some fine vitriolic Rollins style spit in the vocals. For me the stand out track has to be “This Disease” where a riff catchier than swine flu!!! Imagine of Twisted Sister had grown up listening to Minor Threat!!! If this is driving music then its music to run down bus queues to!!!
Elsewhere the band are keen to flex their diversity, “Black Box Recordings” could almost be Jimmy Page plying his folky trade on some windswept Welsh hillside and Locusts II, in stark contrast to its bile drenched hardcore counterpart earlier on the disc, pulls things back to a psychedelic, blues tinged piece of acoustica.
As well as the diversity in style Mondo Cada are also keen to expand their sonic palette. Given the unlimited opportunities a studio can provide they indulge themselves and add and extra layer of subtlety as organ, piano and sitar seem to drift into the mix…never at the expense of the song and certainly never gratuitously.
And then, much like the band themselves, this release is over almost as quickly as it begins. It’s a short, sharp and confusing yet utterly compelling and awesome shock to the system. If they could produce a release of this quality so soon who knows what they could have gone on to achieve. We’ll never know but hopefully Ruins will continue to carry the torch. As the old saying goes, it’s better to burn out than fade away!!!
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall