I thought that the retro rock of bands like Jet and The Storkes was dead. I was praying and hoping that it was, and then a band like Mardo comes on the scene. Mind you, there have been a lot of bands that have looked back to their rock influences and have created amazing albums; Wolfmother and The Darkness (for their first album at least) are two that come to mind. However, the type of music that Mardo starts out “The New Gun” with is an example of this re-hashed, trite rock that shamelessly cops off good bands like the Rolling Stones. It is really as if Mardo is a new Jet.
This is not to say that Mardo cannot put together a solid track; they can and do wioth practically every song on “The New Gun”, but everything seems cribbed from other acts. For example, “Killer on the Dancefloor” is a track that grabs the vocals of AC/DC while grabbing the guitars from early Nine Inch Nails. “The Healiong” starts out with arrangements that would send Dave Matthews running to eir lawyers before Mardo switches places with a Def Leppard cover band (think “Women” or “Armageddon It”). There is a certain level of influence that a band can be reasonably expected to have on a current act, but this goes beyond influence to being musical plagiarism.
There is no sound on “The New Gun” that can be said to be Mardo; each track bounces around to a completely different set of influences and while the songs may sound good at some level, individuals will never be able to shake the feeling that they have heard these songs before. For individuals that may just be listening to the album “The New Gun” in a party setting, there is no doubting the fact that Mardo is a hell of a party act. Perhaps most interesting of all the tracks on the disc has to be “Bombs Over Broadway”, a track that comes forth with a seventies brand of rock before throwing in odd time signatures and keys to the mix. This is dance-punk if the band was recording in 1974 instead of 2004. At least, by the time that “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”, Mardo has dropped the pretense and just covered a track instead of trying to cut their own track with the scraps of five or ten acts that have preceded them.
Top Tracks: Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Bombs over Broadway
Mardo – The New Gun / 2006 House of Restitution / 11 Tracks / http://www.mardomusic.com / http://www.houseofrestitution.com / Reviewed 09 July 2006