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Mando Diao

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Mikael takes us into a new musical journey: a young band with attitude and skills, which has impacted on him not that smoothly as some of his other favourites. But it seems a different kind of slow falling in love has in the end produced anyway sparkling effects. Let's follow our Micke...

Mando Diao - Bring 'Em In

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For rock bands that search back in time for inspiration and ideas there is always one major risk. You walk on a very thin line. Practically you can either go one of two ways.
Either you get inspired, you write the songs and you think they are great, but all you do is actually just copying your heroes. Or you get inspired, you write the songs and you think they are great, and they actually kicks the shit out of your heroes.
Not many bands make it. Sure there are a lot of good bands that make good music, but it is never original enough and the bands fade away slowly but steadily.
It is the ones that find their identity that win the race.

When I first heard Mando Diao the first reaction was, 'God how much 60's it sounds...'. But I liked the melody and the singer's voice. So I gave it a second listen.
A listen I will always thank myself for taking.
The song was Motown Blood and it is simply one of the greatest rock songs ever made. Clocks in at just 2 minutes it is a song that leaves you wanting more but still leaves you on an incredible high.
That highness that only the most fantastic songs gives you. As the title tells you it oozes of a mix of black and white music in a perfect harmony. It takes the great Soul that are Motown and it takes the attack and energy that are the pure Rock'n'roll and mix it.

Some months later they released their second single called Mister Moon. This time it was another singer and it turned out that they have two singers in the band. Both the guitarists share the amount of vocal duties. This time it was Bjrn Dixgrd instead of Gustaf Norn singing.
I was dissapointed. How could I not be? How do you follow up a song like Motown Blood?
And Bjorn's vocals were awful. He pronunced the words weird and the song was slow and it was just a big slush. All I wished for was to never have heard it.
The days went buy and the video was being played on tv quite alot. And slowly I started to like it. I couldn't believe it, the song I had hated so much at first was starting to give in.
It is still a bit of a drag sometimes to listen to it. But it is a good song and it has an incredibly catchy chorus. It is strange how songs can change shape.
Also Bjorn's voice is a complicated thing. Sometimes you get a feeling it is a copy of Jim Morrison singing in a North Swedish accent while drunk.
And you love it.
Obviously I will always prefer Gustaf's voice but just like with Noel and Liam it is nice with a change from time to time. Gives it a bit more dynamic feelings. And thankfully Gustaf takes the rockier songs.
Throughout the album you hear the inspirations that I talked about in the beginning. It goes from simple Kinks pop to full on rock with Rolling Stones and some Beatles in the middle. Obvious choices sure, but somewhere inbetween all the clear homages you hear Mando Diao. The songs are so filled with passion, the youth belief in what you do and excitement that they sparkle so brightly.
Sometimes the inspiration take the upper hand and their idols are doing the playing instead. Only worse. As in Lady and the Band.
But it is a debut album and they have time on their side.
And it is still a microscopic part of the big thing. Because when you have rock bombs like Sheepdog, Sweet Ride, Paralyzed (the trumpets!), Bring 'Em In and Little Boy J, great little ballads as To China With Love (the amazing lalala's!) and Lauren's Cathredal, then you just don't mind a song or two that don't quite reaches up. Or a use of a hammond organ too much in a song. Or that the production is slightly blurry.
Because Bring 'Em In is just joy. It never tries to be anything else but a display of how much fun music can be. And when you let the music speak for itself during the 38 minutes and some, you realise it is exactly that. Fun.
And it hardly gets any better than this.
Mando Diao maybe won't beat their heroes, but they sure as hell gives us one enjoyable ride.

8/10
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Mando Diao - Biography
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Mando Diao are five guys in around their early 20's. Gustaf, Bjorn, Daniel, Samuel and C-J.
They formed the band 7 years ago and have since been determinded to make the best music there is.
With arrogance, good looks and excellence on their instruments there are starting their journey now.
In the summer of 2002, specifically 24th of June, they released their first EP called Motown Blood after signing a contract with the label Capitol Records. It was praised and loved by almost anyone who heard it. With their mix of 60's music and today's garage rock they managed to hit a nerve that was just waiting to blossom out. And with the help of the successes of other bands such as the Hives and the Strokes they came in the right time as well.
During the summer they toured Sweden with the Kalas-tour, which is a mini festival that changes headlines every year, this year Kent, Joakim Thastrom and Mando Diao were the bands that got the chance. Alongside the comedy thatre act, Varanteatern.
It became a two month celebration tour of three excellent acts. And the anticipation of Mando Diao's first album was only getting bigger and bigger.
In the start of September they released their follow up single, Mr Moon, and two weeks later their debut album was put out.
Titled Bring 'Em In, it has recevied mixed reviews. Those who love them, and those who hate them. Which is exactly how it always is with music it seems. But, for the goodness, the praise has outshined the dissing this time.
Currently they are on their own fall tour now. Playing live and celebrating their success.
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Pictures courtesy of Mando Diao's Official Site

Mando Diao's Official Site

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