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Mando Diao: Bring 'Em In

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if you like this you'll like: The Rolling Stones (Their Satanic Majesties Request thru Sticky Fingers), The Hives, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

REVIEW: Mando Diao: Bring 'Em In
10.30.2003 by Dusty

Mando Diao: Bring 'Em In [Mute, 2003]

Three words? Exile in Borlänge

The turtleneck-and-leather-jacket combo is a force to be reckoned with. No other fashion statement quite says "I'm badass, but also sensibly dressed for a brisk evening." Swedish garage rockers Mando Diao are avid proponents of this style. For this and many other reasons, Mando are the best thing to happen to the world of retro-rock since red Hagar Slacks. Bring 'Em In (their debut) is poised to make the majority of "the" bands obsolete.

Mando Diao’s sound exists between the punk howl of The Hives and the pop-culture pilfery of Beck and Cornershop. From the reverent "Lady" to the blistering title track, the band take cues from The Velvet Underground to Randy Newman, then blasts them through their cigarette-burned Marshall stacks, without missing a single step in their rock-star swagger.

The band’s influences are many and varied, but their Rolling Stones inspiration is the most apparent of all. While an innumerable mass of bands kneel at the Glimmer Twin alter, Mando Diao step up to the plate and attempt to match their masters. Bring Em' In is structured closely on the classic Stones albums of the late 60s / early 70s, right down to the organ-drenched album closer, "Lauren’s Cathedral." The rock songs rock as hard as the soulful songs ache, each elevating the impact of the other.

Perhaps the strict Swedish work ethic is to thank, but Mando Diao accomplish more in three tracks than most American bands do in an entire album. In an infinitely better universe, the songs of Bring 'Em In would be our Bond themes and jukebox staples. Strokes, schmokes.

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