May 24, 2007

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Mando Diao, Ode to Ochrasy
Mute Records, 2007

Seems like every time a whitebread rock band chooses a Spanish-sounding moniker (in this case it’s a made-up phrase) it bodes ill for their longevity, but these Swedes have been at it for three albums now and cultivated a strong fan base in Japan, Germany and their homeland. Picture Kaiser Chiefs, Los Lobos and Mission of Burma racing for the only available port-a-potty and that’s this, a tornado of down-the-gullet 80s hooks, Robert Rodiguez soundtracking and scowling bass lines. This one’s a notch or two better (and more inspired) than Kaiser Chiefs’ latest, not only in relation to tunefulness but humor as well, since these slap-heads appear bent on sneaking their Spanish-sounding made-up name into the trivia section of any random Wikipedia entry that strikes their fancy: album opener “Welcome Home Luc Robitaille” is a holla to the recently retired NHL left-winger, and “Killer Kaczynski” pokes a Mexi-punk stick in the Unabomber’s cage. C+Eric W. Saeger