Mando Diao – Ode To Ochrasy

Mando Diao – Ode To Ochrasy / 2007 Mute / 14 Tracks / http://www.mandodiao.com / http://www.mute.com /

I guess there are bands that are still trying to do the retro rock thing. Mando Diao does just that with their “Ode To Ochrasy”. This is the band’s third alum, and it shows that the act has had considerable time to go and polish their sound. While “Welcome Home, Luc Roitaille” is a solid track in its’ own right, the act brings forth more than a small share of rockabilly and ska music into “Killer Kaczynski”. This makes the track into the band’s first single, and while they are not trying to be like the Nekromantix, one can hear the same spastic energy present in both bands.

The band moves into a Franz Ferdinand type of sound during “Long Before Rock’n’Roll”. The angularity that Franz Ferdinand thrives off of has been modified by Mando Diao into a smoothed-out, intelligent set of arrangements. The number of fresh styles, instrumental sounds, and differing vocal outputs during “Ode To Ochrasy” make this an album that will be the sleeper hit of the summer. The sly vocals that are such a major point to “The Wildfire” link themselves well to Rufus Wainwright along with the pop stars of the seventies. The orchestration present during “The Wildfire” does not slack, either; it builds and bubbles up to the point where it threatens to engulf the lead singer. Luckily, the vocals strain a slight bit more and Mando Diao has yet another hit on their hands with “The Wildfire”.

While there is not too much new with “You Don’t Understand Me”, the smooth vocals and jangly guitars make this into another instant classic. Even when a track could conceivably be considered a placekeeper track, the band works their magic. The opening to “Tony Zoulias” (what is up with all of these tracks named after individuals?) starts with a piano roll that has not been heard up to this point. The punk-like energy of the track can be compared to that present on “Killer Kaczynski”, but there is a harmony that seems to draw a little bit from the psychedelic style of the seventies. While I was not very familiar with Mando Diao before picking up “Ode To Ochrasy”, the ability of the band shines through as clear as day. Any one of the 14 cuts on this album could have life as a single; check out Mando Diao at your first convenience.

Top Tracks: Josephine, TV & Me

Rating: 7.2/10

Author: James McQuiston

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

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