Jeff Babko – Mondo Trio

Jeff Babko – Mondo Trio / 2007 Abstract Logix / 9 Tracks / /

The first track on “Mondo Trio” is “Head Trauma”, and despite the funkiness present in this track (or perhaps because of it), the resulting track has a very Zaappa-like sound to it. Everything would be okay if the song remained without vocals, as the horns and guitars provide a vocal sound that is just as narrative as normal vocals would be. While there is a lot of cohesion between the different arrangements during the track, the band continues to tweak and vary the output. This means that there might be a Frampton-esque guitar line one second, and something that more closely reminds individuals of a Rush or Pink Floyd the next. This also means that a track like “Head Trauma” can hit the seven minute mark and still sound as fresh at that time as it did when the track sounded when it first started.

Of particular note during the track has to be the jazz-esque breakdown, that uses instruments of rock to go into places much more fitted for the jazz genres. Despite the fact that the tracks are almost two years old and sound as if they were coming from the seventies, the rich arrangements and smart production of this album make Babko, Coffin, and Colaiuta names germane to any discussion of current music. A minor problem that can be heard is that the bass has a somewhat electronic sound during this opening track. While this might be what the band was looking for, the sound of the bass is fuzzy where the guitars, drums, and horns are sharp.

This minor dissention is a little irking, but is not enough to significant detract from the compositions present on the disc. The band shifts things to a later, eighties type of sound when it comes to the opening of “Vote 4 Morals”. The energetic, tempestuous sound of this track seems more in line with “Killing An Arab”-era Cure than anything else previously heard. Furthermore, the inclusion of a flute during this track gives the band a flavor of Jethro Tull, expanding their sound to include more than one time period. The band does not need anything in the way of vocals to make an album that is intense and interesting throughout its’ hour-long runtime. There are elements of progressive and classic rock just as there are influences that range from jazz to blues; Babko, Coffin, and Colaiuta make for an album that has a high replay value and is truly timeless.

Top Tracks: Head Trauma, Vote 4 Morals

Rating: 6.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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